Is that a tricky thing. At a time when the finance minister – important anyway – is becoming particularly important, he has to fight on many fronts. Sorry for the language image, but it makes sense because one of the challenges of the lord of the coffers is dealing with the consequences of the war. Also, but not only. And everywhere Christian Lindner is attacked.
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Even before he officially presented the cornerstones of his major “inflation compensation law” on Wednesday – relief in the billions, a higher basic tax-free allowance and an increase in child benefit – they were already controversial. Left and social organizations criticized the plans, but also the coalition partners SPD and Greens.
The opposition from the Greens is particularly great. Lindner is accused of “not being up to date” with the billions in tax relief, from which high earners would benefit three times as much as less earners in absolute terms.
The management Veronika Grimm is also critical. In their opinion, the plans to relieve taxpayers are not timely. “A reform in which the higher earners nominally gain more comes at the wrong time,” Grimm told the Rheinische Post.
Right now, just him. After his very public wedding party on Sylt, the FDP federal chairman still has to be concerned about his reputation, which is difficult to improve. After all, the polls are falling for him and the FDP. The nerves are blank in some places. There comes every even remotely accurate hint that he is with the rich, once again at the wrong time.
Especially since the fact that Lindner has disparagingly associated discounted local transport – in view of the overall situation a real relief for many in society – with a “free mentality” still has an effect. It sounds as if something is just being tapped off by the majority. It hurts, and hurts many. Will they vote for the FDP, soon in Lower Saxony? The higher earners are not the majority.
The derogatory term “free mentality” is reminiscent of the one with which another – also very dominant – party leader attracted attention a decade ago: Guido Westerwelle. He thought he should be able to identify “late Roman decadence” in society. That didn’t do his reputation any good either, and what’s more: there are enough voices who claim that he brought the FDP into a tailspin. Not that something similar happens to Porsche lover Lindner.
But maybe he still has an idea how to repair his image and that of the party. The office of Minister of Finance can do a lot for many. Especially in these times.