Which country has 100 taxpayers?

Current Black Book: This is how high the tax waste in Germany is

One of the bizarre cases is the renovation of the historic "Napoleon Bridge" in Gifhorn. It was made accessible again for 200,000 euros. However, the benefits are limited. Because the water underneath is only a pond, but above all a decent path has long led past it - which is why there are no signs pointing to the bridge.

Questionable "Rendezfood" app

The “Rendezfood” advertising app from the North Rhine-Westphalian state government, which was funded by the EU, also seems questionable. The app gives food character traits so that users can chat with food. Cost: a total of 1.45 million euros.

Unintentionally funny: users are lured into a chip shop with a vegan currywurst of all things. This does not necessarily encourage healthy eating. "With this example in particular, we are drawing attention to the wrong priorities," says Holznagel. "With one million euros, some schools could be made digitally fit."

The city of Parchim, in turn, incurred high losses with luxury water. Noble water gushes from a spring at a depth of 181 meters in the middle of the Mecklenburg district town on the site of the municipal waterworks. The idea of ​​marketing luxury water and with it "Minus 181 GmbH" was quickly born.

The water, which is pumped and bottled in a factory on the company's own premises, is soft and particularly tasteless. The liter costs around 20 euros. At the price, however, the water did not arrive. By the end of 2018, the company had generated losses of 651,000 euros.

In addition to these small wastes, the taxpayers' association denounces large cases of tax wastage from its point of view. The federal government has taken over the reorganization of the IT systems of the ministries and federal authorities. Project expenditures have already risen to 3.4 billion euros - "and further cost increases are on the way," said Holznagel.

Extensive changes and extensions had to be made to the project on an ongoing basis and external consultants had to be hired for a lot of money. And because of the management chaos and the explosion in costs, the government has now split up the project, which is likely to result in further delays.

In addition, the taxpayers' association denounced the coal exit, which cost around 40 billion euros. The federal government is relying on a method that is comparatively expensive for taxpayers. “The coal phase-out is more expensive than necessary for taxpayers, since politicians decided to go it alone at national level instead of the existing CO2 price in European emissions trading. This is expensive symbolic politics, ”it says in the Black Book.

Too generous corona aid

And the corona aid was also wasted. The state of Berlin outdid itself and other federal states in the distribution of Corona emergency aid for self-employed individuals and small businesses.

"Berlin started emergency aid II 72 hours before the federal government announced the criteria for too large a number of recipients and without sufficient application reviews - and thus acted much too hastily," writes the taxpayers' association.

The lack of controls called for fraudsters. And the criteria that were formulated too softly also benefited those applicants who were not necessarily dependent on funding.

Many government expenditures, especially in the corona crisis, are absolutely justified, says Holznagel. However, problems should be addressed openly. "Only when we denounce grievances can we put an end to grievances."

Holznagel expects many more new examples in the next few years. Because the federal government and the states had borrowed more than necessary, they had put on “thick financial cushions”. And that, according to Holznagel, encourages new tax waste.

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