- Which party your car would choose
- Cars are no longer the number one mode of transport
- Car functionaries waddle Seehofer off
- Allocation to the fuel price
- Intersection for black and green
- Pensioners’ party for seniors check
Which party your car would choose
With the push for a speed limit of 120 kilometers per hour on German motorways, SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel snubbed his own party at the beginning of the year. A g…Energy speed limit is now off the table with the Social Democrats, the Greens and the Left, on the other hand, are in favor of a speed limit
Source: dpa / jst pzi
The general election in two weeks’ time will also decide on future mobility. It’s about much more than just car tolls for foreigners and speed limits on motorways. A party check.
F.It has long been a long time since there was a free ride on German autobahns. Construction sites, vacation traffic and the increasing density of traffic in general stand against it – and a de facto speed limit. With the appearance of the first BMW 750i in the mid-1980s, the German premium manufacturers agreed on a regulation to shut off propulsion at 250 km / h. Only Porsche and a few sports car manufacturers opposed the voluntary requirement and continue to do so to this day. Image is everything.
A heated debate about a speed limit on motorways has flared up ahead of the federal elections. It is of course not about the voluntary vow that is now broken by factory tuners like AMG (Mercedes), BMW M and Audis quattro GmbH; a Jaguar XKR with its V8 supercharged power unit will also reach the magical 300 km / h limit. Some Germans, a minority of 35 to 40 percent, depending on the survey, are in favor of a speed limit between 120 and 130 km / h and receive support from the Greens and the left.
Proponents expect more security and lower pollutant emissions. The CDU / CSU, FDP and SPD, on the other hand, continue to preach the credo “Free travel for free citizens”. But there was a harsh dispute over the direction of the Social Democrats. Party leader Sigmar Gabriel suddenly brought a limit of 120 km / h into play in May – whereupon Chancellor candidate Peer Steinbruck vigorously drove him into the parade. Steinbruck prevailed.
Cars are no longer the number one mode of transport
In terms of transport policy, the mainstream parties are not as far apart as in the search for a balanced tax model. This is shown by a comparison of the election programs and a questionnaire that the parties sent for the car portal Motortalk.de have answered (there was no answer from the alternative for Germany). While the FDP invokes a largely unregulated, industry-friendly line, the Greens and Left are focusing more on relieving financially weaker road users and expanding local public transport. They no longer regard the car as the number one means of transport in the city.
There is consensus across all party lines that the ailing road infrastructure, which has become emblematic on the Rhine bridge of the A1 near Leverkusen, which is closed to heavy trucks, urgently needs to be improved. The SPD has earmarked two billion euros for the renovation of the most important patches. The CDU / CSU even wants to remove the construction sites with 25 billion euros. A greater shift in freight traffic to rail and ship is at the top of the programs of the Greens, the Left, the SPD and also the coalition.
Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer (CSU) already had the largest investment budget of all cabinet colleagues in the current legislative period. With ten billion euros annually, he was able to nurture motorways, railways and canals. For new buildings, however, it will be tight in the future due to the lack of money. Dozens of projects with a construction volume running into billions are slumbering in the ministry’s drawers, waiting to be pulled out.
Car functionaries waddle Seehofer off
Another possible source of money will not open up, because since last Sunday the general public has known that Angela Merkel and her challenger Steinbruck are in agreement on the car toll. "With me there won’t be such a toll," Merkel clarified. And Peer Steinbruck, who had previously dismissed a vignette plan for foreigners from Bavarian Prime Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) as the “cheapest slapstick” in an interview with “Auto-Bild”, hit the same note.
The offsetting with the vehicle tax proposed by the CSU would not work because in the end only the income of the few foreign car drivers remained, argues the SPD man. In the end, the federal government pays on it. The Greens agree, but with different arguments: "The car vignette is socially and ecologically blind, since it would burden frequent and infrequent drivers equally," it said from the party headquarters. The pirates find the recording of car traffic questionable from a data protection point of view.
Even worse for Seehofer: even leading automobile officials punished the toll offensive of the passionate BMW 7 Series driver. Volker Lange, President of the Association of Automobile Importers VDKI, speaks of a "transparent campaign maneuver".
Former CDU transport minister Matthias Wissmann, head of the Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), points out that the proportion of foreign cars on German autobahns is only five percent. The driver can no longer be fleeced. "Even without a toll, the tax burden for drivers in Germany is very high."
Allocation to the fuel price
In all likelihood, drivers will therefore not face any additional burdens. However, there will be no relief, for example through lowering the mineral oil tax. "That would not go down well with consumers, but would be used by the large oil companies for further profits," predicts the SPD’s transport policy spokesman, Soren Bartol, in the magazine "Auto-Test".
In addition to the engine capacity, the emissions standard and CO2 emissions are currently included in the calculation for the vehicle tax. If that were to be added to the fuel price and the vehicle tax abolished, diesel would supposedly become 34 cents more and petrol 13 cents more expensive. That would be at the expense of commuters and other frequent travelers.
The Greens are in favor of this, but the Left Party is angry with the plan: For them, the vehicle tax is "the only control instrument with which the state can set incentives to rejuvenate vehicle fleets".
Even the pirates do not want to shake the tax: "Especially in times when professional flexibility is required, we consider an apportionment of the vehicle tax to be socially difficult to convey."
Intersection for black and green
The unpopular eco tax will last for at least the next four years. In their program, the CDU / CSU express their displeasure with the levy introduced in 1999. However, with the link to the pension reform, "facts have now been created that do not allow abolition". The current opposition sees it quite differently: "The ecological tax has been rightly maintained by all governments since 1999 and has contributed to the positive development of the labor market in recent years," claims the Greens.
The fronts are not as hardened as they seem. Even for a future black-green coalition, there would be overlaps in transport policy. As expected, not only the Greens have written the expansion of the cycle path network in the program, the Union also wants to create better infrastructure for cyclists. The car could sow conflict. The Chancellor is sticking to the goal of having one million electric cars on German roads by 2020.
The CDU believes, however, that the products have to assert themselves on the market without subsidies. The exemption from vehicle tax for ten years is enough to be a buying incentive. On the other hand, the Greens want to enforce a direct state subsidy for e-cars and plug-in hybrids – as is common practice in numerous European countries. Even the SPD rejects subsidies, Peer Steinbruck, who drives a BMW 3 Series Touring privately, is more in favor of incentives such as free parking and more rewards for trips into the city center with an electric vehicle.
Pensioners’ party for seniors check
When asked whether municipalities are subsidized when they offer car sharing parking spaces, city toll models and car-free inner-city areas, most of the parties wriggle around a clear answer. Alone a hefty city toll like in London for cars with internal combustion engines is rejected across all parties. Also from Peer Steinbruck, who fears deserted inner cities and a starving retail trade.
There is a lack of revolutionary ideas in this federal election campaign, and populism is at best spraying with splinter parties like the pensioners’ party Germany. For them, for example, the eco tax is “just as much a sham as the champagne tax levied by Kaiser Wilhelm”. The party for the elderly expressly welcomes the introduction of regular driving tests, primarily for senior citizens. Aging depends on many factors. "For some people it starts at 40, for others only at 90."
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