Refugee financing is re-igniting the old dispute between the federal government, the Länder and the municipalities about the tasks to be financed by each level. In the run-up to the refugee summit in the Federal Chancellery, Michael Thöne explains in an interview with NDR the chances and dangers of direct financial relations between the federal government and the municipalities. He assesses the current dispute as the first of many to come, because for now the times are over when pressing political problems could be mitigated with a great deal of additional money.

 In 1922, agricultural vehicles were exempted from vehicle tax in order to promote the mechanisation of farming. The goal has been achieved for decades; the tax benefit lives on. In the spring of 2023, the Federal Court of Auditors had once again "ultimatively" called on the Minister of Finance to actually implement the recommendations from the 2019 FiFo evaluation of this 475-million-euro per year subsidy - Spiegel reported, among others. Now Michael Thöne explains on Bavarian television that the abolition of this futile subsidy paves the way for a more modern, sustainable approach to supporting our agriculture.

India is witnessing one of the largest urban growth spurts in human history. Since 1970, the subcontinent's urban population has increased almost fivefold. Today's 500 million urban inhabitants are expected to be augmented by another 400 million by 2050. Conventional municipal finances are not up to this dynamic. At the Urban CoP Launch Conference of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India, Michael Thöne presents international good practice in urban finance. In addition to strong own revenues in user charges, new local taxes and green bonds, there is also a need for reliable vertical tax shares and fiscal equalisation transfers to cope with India's rapid urban growth.

How does government meet growing demands with, at best, unchanged resources? The most important task here is to increase the efficiency of government performance. The international Handbook on Public Sector Efficiency, now appearing with the renowned publisher Edward Elgar, covers the entire scope of this dynamic research field. The handbook is aimed at researchers, practitioners and policy-makers who want to understand and improve value for money in the public sector. In his chapter, Michael Thöne explains the central function of high and increasing quality of public finances.

The Saxon state parliament is debating a proposed bill to amend the constitution and establish a "special fund for social balance". In the expert hearing of the Committee on Constitution and Law, Democracy, Europe and Equality, Michael Thöne explains why this proposal would rather aggravate the generation conflict instead of moderating it. Here, the unspecified social consequences of possible crises are to be met with 5 billion euros of additional debt. Such a low-threshold ancillary budget would not only not contribute anything to the major generational tasks of climate, demography, digitalisation and infrastructure. What is more, the present generation would - once again - seek to cushion its present problems with a lot of borrowed money. This would mean one more burden that would be placed on the young and future generations. Watch the livestream of the hearing.

We use cookies

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.