Cordula Schnuer from Delano joined Sam to preview today’s State of the Nation address from Prime Minister Xavier Bettel. The speech which was usually held in April/May but was delayed to October last year because of lockdown and they seem to be sticking with this schedule, opening the parliamentary year.
What can we expect:
Last year, he announced higher taxes for revenue from real estate held in specialised investment funds (SIFs) as well as abolishing the stock options regime. This came after he faced criticism for not presenting any policy initiatives in this speech previously but merely doing a round-up of what the government is working on.
Pandemic – Still isn’t over. Vaccinations are stagnating and without a higher rate, the government sees little scope to lift any of the measures currently in place.
Security – Headline grabbing incidents in recent months. Bettel has been largely quiet on this leaving the floor to minister of internal security Henri Kox (Déi Gréng). Interesting because in City council DP and CSV form a coalition with the Greens in opposition.
Tax reform – Comprehensive tax reform by 2023 off the table. But there could be isolated elements. Property tax is still under discussion. Coalition split with the LSAP over the covid-19 tax. With the government to present the 2022 budget mid-October (normally) question of who’s going to pay for the crisis still open.
Environment – COP26 upcoming.
Housing – An evergreen in Luxembourg.
Cordula also laid out the political landscape in which the speech is being delivered:
Parties are starting to prepare for the 2023 election even though we’re “only” just over halfway through the current legislative period.
Dan Kersch and Romain Schneider (both LSAP) have already announced that they won’t be running for government office in the next elections, which leaves some personnel questions open.
There is friction within the coalition, for example on the issue of taxation. Déi Gréng and LSAP during their “rentrée” press conferences outlined priorities that read like election programmes. Starting on working groups to develop policy proposals.
Away from politics Cordula also had some top tips on what do this week:
Top pick of the week:
Vendetta: Truth, Lies and the Mafia https://www.netflix.com/lu-en/title/81399651
Here the full interview below: