German deficit meets with election pledge

May 14, 2009 at 4:15 PM
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BERLIN, May 14 (UPI) -- German Finance Minister Peer Steinbruck said the government's budget deficit would reach $122 billion in 2010, its largest since the end of World War II.

The deficit for 2009 was on track to reach $68 billion this year, In 2008, Germany's deficit reached $16 billion, the Financial Times reported Thursday.

The budget gap could set back Chancellor Angela Merkel's campaign pledge to cut income taxes. Social Democratic Party officials said the budget gap figures revealed the chancellor's pledge to be "pure electioneering."

A general election is scheduled for Sept. 27.

"To promise tax cuts now is to deceive voters, purely and simply," said Steinbruck, a member of the Social Democratic Party. Merkel belongs to the Christian Democratic Union.

President of the German Taxpayers' Association Karl Dake said, "it is clear that taxpayers will be hugely affected by this economic crisis."

"We welcome the debate about tax cuts but we know today's promises are unlikely to live beyond September 27," he said.

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