Tax cuts for foreign skilled workers alone will not solve the shortage. But anything is better than nothing in a crisis.

A man works on an electrical box.

Foreign skilled workers to be attracted to the country with tax breaks Photo: Sven Hoppe/dpa

Tax relief for foreigners alone is a risky proposition. Trade union politicians, the BSW and even parts of the SPD are attacking the Ampelspitze plans, according to which migrant skilled workers do not have to pay taxes on 30, 20 and 10 percent of their gross earnings during the first three years in Germany. Work should be worth the same. And finally: How unfair it all is!

Even now, not everyone pays the same tax rate. Those who earn more have to give up a larger proportion of their income, and single people pay more than married people. Taxes are also an instrument of political control. And it is obvious that Germany urgently needs to change course when it comes to recruiting skilled workers. According to forecasts, by 2030 there could be up to 5 million vacant jobs, simply because there are no suitable candidates. This will slow down the German economy (and it is already weakening).

It is clear that temporary tax relief alone will not solve the shortage of skilled workers. And with the Skilled Immigration Act, the traffic light took an important step last year. What is now particularly needed is a further acceleration and more staff in visa issuance. But even if the tax relief only makes a small contribution, it is better than nothing. German companies urgently need to get back on track and grow in the long term. Nobody benefits from economic crises except the far right.

Moreover, studies show that immigrants earn less money on average during their first years than people who have been here longer. And those who emigrate as skilled workers are fully trained, no longer go to school or university and therefore no longer benefit from the tax-funded education system. These people thus reach a stage in their life where they no longer cost the state much, but pay a lot of taxes. Unequal treatment here does not automatically mean injustice.