FDP calls for nuclear power plant extension and tax cuts

FDP calls for nuclear power plant extension and tax cuts

Berlin Shortly before the epiphany meeting of the liberals, FDP top politicians called on their party to be more self-sufficient and assertive in the traffic light coalition. “In order for the FDP to get back on the road to success in 2023, it must sharpen its profile,” write the chairman of the Bavarian FDP, Martin Hagen, and the Hessian top candidate of the Liberals, Stefan Naas, in a joint position paper.

The paper is available to the Handelsblatt. In it they demand, among other things, a further extension of the nuclear lifespan and a reduction in income and corporate taxes. The SPD and the Greens reject both.

The state elections in Bavaria and Hesse, which are decisive for the Liberals, are scheduled for autumn. Last year, the FDP suffered serious defeats, was kicked out of government in North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein and failed at the five percent hurdle in Lower Saxony.

Hagen and Naas are running as top candidates in the elections in Bavaria and Hesse, respectively. These “mid-term elections” in the middle of the Bundestag legislative period are “pointing the way for the further development of the FDP nationwide”, write the two politicians, who are also members of the party’s federal executive board. “2023 must bring the trend reversal for the Free Democrats.”

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On Friday, the liberals come together for their traditional Epiphany meeting in Stuttgart. The mood is tense given the currently poor nationwide poll numbers. Party leader Christian Lindner will have to do motivational work. The top candidates for the coming elections – the repeat elections will take place in Berlin in February and in Bremen in May – will make a brief appearance.

>> Read also: SPD and Greens fear a weakened FDP

While Lindner and Berlin’s top staff have been calling for perseverance for months, impatience is growing at the base. Hagen and Naas also believe that something has to change, their paper can be understood as a kind of wake-up call to the party.

FDP politician Stefan Naas

Naas is the top candidate for the Liberals in the Hessian state elections.

(Photo: dpa)

As the smallest of three coalition partners, the FDP cannot implement its ideas one-to-one in government policy, they write, “but compromises must be explained better and liberal negotiation successes presented more confidently”. The voters should be able to see “what the ‘pure FDP’ position looks like,” the paper says.

priority for the economy

Specifically, Hagen and Naas name six topics with which the liberals should score points in the traffic light coalition. In view of the looming recession, concerns about the economy must take center stage, they write. Projects that strengthen Germany as a business location should have priority.

Conversely, all projects that make economic activity in Germany more difficult should be avoided. “The FDP must ensure that the moratorium on burdens on the economy agreed in the traffic light coalition is consistently observed,” the paper says. That would lead to conflicts at traffic lights.

fracking and nuclear power

The Greens will not be very enthusiastic about the energy policy demands. “We have to promote the use of geothermal energy and also rely much more than before on domestic gas deposits,” write Hagen and Naas. “Fracking must no longer be taboo.” SPD and Greens categorically reject fracking.

A second demand in the position paper is no less controversial: “An extension of the service life of German nuclear power plants beyond 2023 would make the German power supply cheaper and more climate-friendly.”


After a long dispute between Finance Minister Lindner and Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens), Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) decided that the three remaining nuclear power plants would not go offline as planned at the end of 2022. However, the extension will only last until April and no new fuel rods will be ordered.

While the SPD and the Greens declare the debate over, Hagen and Naas are now reopening it. This will meet with resistance from the coalition partners.

lower taxes

This also applies to the fiscal policy demands of the liberals. As Finance Minister, Lindner pushed through to ensure that inflation-related tax increases, also known as “cold progression”, are fully offset. In addition, allowances have been significantly increased. Even that goes beyond the coalition agreement.

>> Read here: This is how singles and families benefit from the tax cuts in the new year

Hagen and Naas are demanding further steps. “For the future, the FDP must make it clear that real tax relief is their goal,” they write. “These include a reduction in income and corporate taxes as well as better depreciation options for assets.”

control immigration

When it comes to immigration, the conflicts at the traffic lights are not quite as great. The fact that workers should come to Germany more easily is undisputed and is already being addressed by the traffic light. “A limiting factor for economic growth is the lack of workers and skilled workers,” write the two liberals. Almost all sectors are currently affected.


However, Hagen and Naas emphasize that the number of asylum applications has recently risen sharply again. Here they strike different tones than the SPD and the Greens. “Our goal is more immigration into our labor market, not into our welfare state,” the paper emphasizes.

Warning against “climate ideology”

When it comes to climate protection, the two FDP top candidates clearly differ from the Greens. “The FDP must show a clear edge against a climate ideology hostile to growth and capitalism, which openly propagates the deindustrialization of Germany,” they write. Climate protection is not achieved through more and more prohibitions and a reversal of prosperity, but through technological progress and market-based incentives.

comply with the debt brake

Because of the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis, finance minister Lindner had to incur much more debt than originally planned last year. This did not go down well with all liberal voters.

>> Read here: More money for investments: Economy demands reform of the debt brake

FDP top candidate Martin Hagen

Hagen is a candidate for the FDP in the state elections in Bavaria. He calls for a sharper profile of his party.

(Photo: imago images/ZUMA Wire)

Hagen and Naas defend the decisions. “It is right to upgrade our Bundeswehr – that ensures our ability to defend our country and our alliance,” they write. “It is also right to curb the loss of purchasing power and to stabilize energy prices in the short term – this prevents social upheaval and its instrumentalization by the political fringes like in the days of the Weimar Republic.”

This year, Lindner wants to let the debt brake take effect again. He pushed this through in the traffic light coalition, which is also what the 2023 budget envisages. Hagen and Naas demand that it absolutely has to stay that way. “Anything else would fuel inflation, jeopardize the state’s ability to act in future crises and impose enormous burdens on coming generations,” the paper says.

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