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Health Levy Divides German Coalition

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Germany’s coalition government is once again divided: this time as to whether or not a standard health care levy should be introduced as part of the country’s system of legal health insurance.

Leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU) Horst Seehofer recently threatened to veto the government’s plans, announcing that he will not agree to replace the existing contributions scheme, linked to wages, with a standard health care levy.

Defending the proposal however, Volker Kauder, parliamentary leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, emphasized the need to implement a health care premium, explaining that this was agreed as part of the coalition agreement.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also provided her support for Health Minister Philipp Rösler, championing the initiative on behalf of the Free Democratic Party (FDP), and has urged the coalition to put an end to the futile bickering and feuding, and to allow the government’s commission time to carry out its role.

CSU leader Horst Seehofer and Bavaria’s own Health Minister Markus Söder have openly expressed their opposition to the government’s proposals on a number of occasions. Indeed, according to CSU calculations, a levy of around EUR145 would cost the government in the region of EUR21bn.

Under the current proposal, a standard legal health insurance contribution would be imposed on all individuals in Germany, irrespective of their earnings. But to redress the obvious social imbalance, a subsidy would be provided from state tax revenue.

Given the record debt in Germany at the moment, however, this proposal does appear somewhat unrealistic. Even Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble believes that this would lead to unavoidable increases in taxation – and possibly to a rise in the top rate of income tax to as much as 73%.

The government’s commission is due to present its proposals in the summer, in order that the anticipated reform can take effect from 2011.

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The Report

Offshore Trusts Guide: Introduction

The History of Offshore Trusts
Development of Professional Competence in the Jurisdictions
What Future for the Trust?
The New Age of Transparency
The Swiss Association of Trust Companies
The Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners

Offshore Trusts Guide: Jurisdictions

Bahamas

Bahamas: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bahamas: 2006 Private Trust Companies Legislation

Barbados

Barbados: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Barbados: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Bermuda

Bermuda: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bermuda: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
British Virgin Islands: Special Trusts Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: The Trustee Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: :Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees
British Virgin Islands: New Laws on Private Trust Companies
British Virgin Islands: New Private Trust Company Regulations

Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cayman Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cook Islands

Cook Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cook Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cyprus

Cyprus: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cyprus: Supervision, Licensing and Tax

Gibraltar

Gibraltar: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Gibraltar: Legislation, Regulation and Supervision

Guernsey

Guernsey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Guernsey: Trusts Law 2007

Isle of Man

Isle of Man: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Isle of Man: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Isle of Man: Uses Clients and Tax Treatment

Jersey

Jersey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Jersey: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Jersey: Trusts Amendment Act 2006
Jersey: Foundations

Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Liechtenstein: Regulation Supervision and Transparency
Liechtenstein: Characteristics of Liechtenstein Trusts
Liechtenstein: Foundations

Madeira

Madeira: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Malta

Malta: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Malta: The Trust and Trustees Act 2004

Mauritius

Mauritius: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Mauritius: Characteristics of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Additional Provisions of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Tax Treatment

Monaco

Monaco: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Nevis

Nevis: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Panama

Panama: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Panama: Requirements for Acting as Trust Company in Panama

Seychelles

Seychelles: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Turks & Caicos

Turks & Caicos: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Turks & Caicos: The Voidable Dispositions Ordinance

Vanuatu

Vanuatu Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees




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