Statement from the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) on the plans presented today
Additional funding for the transport infrastructure is needed urgently. Given the tax revenues expected in the coming years there will be sufficient scope for taking action, even without new toll income. According to the latest tax estimates, the revenues going to the national government, the German states and the municipalities will rise by 3.3 per cent this year, and by 4.2 per cent in 2015. This dynamic growth will continue until 2017, bringing record income of more than 712 billion euro. It would therefore be possible to provide more funding for the infrastructure out of the budget. The state does not have a revenue problem – instead the issue is setting the right priorities.
Today, even without a passenger car toll, car drivers in Germany already bear a heavy burden in taxes and levies. Every year the tax on petroleum, motor vehicle tax and the truck toll bring over 50 billion euro into the state coffers. But only just under 20 billion is invested in the roads. At least another two billion euro is necessary each year to maintain and expand the federal trunk roads alone. The relatively low net income of around 600 million euro is not in proportion to the bureaucratically complicated and legally sensitive concept.
We also take a critical view of the planned introduction of a passenger car toll, because of the risk that it will gradually be expanded. Politicians would do better to develop an overall system for a sustainable and viable way of financing the infrastructure. This would include, for example, durable financing cycles and taking the infrastructure out of the system of annual budget decisions, similar to the agreement on performance and financing for the rail network. With the investment budget fixed for several years, it would be possible to have better operational management of maintenance measures and construction projects.