2008 OECD Economic Surveys: Germany 2008

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This 2008 edition of OECD's periodic survey of the German economy finds Germany enjoying a vigorous recovery after a long period of stagnation. To keep the recovery going, OECD finds Germany facing a number of key challenges including making the tax system more efficient, making labour market improvements last longer, improving education outcomes, strengthening competition in network industries, and making healthcare sustainable. These challenges are all addressed in some detail in this report.

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Preserving past achievements in fiscal policy and making the tax system more efficient

Government finances have improved significantly over the past years on account of both cyclically higher revenues and structural expenditure restraint. In order to preserve these achievements for the longer term, the government should consider replacing the fiscal rule currently enshrined in the constitution, which has proved to be ineffective in preventing an increase in the debt level. Safeguarding future tax receipts is also a challenge and the implemented corporate tax reform will be helpful in this respect. In this chapter, further options to reduce the tax burden even more for mobile bases are considered. Finally, options are explored for making tax collection more efficient.

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