Budgetary policy becomes a particular focus of debate whenever public spending results in more debt than the state can afford. Sometimes, unforeseen circumstances can cause chaos in budgeting: when attempting to balance out cyclical reductions in tax revenue or social inequalities, spending can quickly spiral out of control. Just as often, however, the empty coffers are caused by the wrong budgetary policies– especially if they are based on the false premise that it is possible to constantly spend more money than is actually available. The relationship between planning and risk, and between what is necessary in the short term and what is sustainable in the long term, is invariably a tense one. This tension cannot ever be fully resolved, but we can adopt a more future-oriented approach to budgetary policy. Green budgetary policy starts with today and seeks to find answers to the challenges of tomorrow.
In our budgetary and financial policies, we Greens are guided by the principle of sustainable development. This must be reflected in the revenue and spending structure of the federal budget.
Green budgetary policy takes a holistic view. In the current economic crisis, the key task is to stimulate the economy in an ecologically sustainable manner. At the same time, we want to conserve our natural life support systems, narrow the gap between rich and poor, offer prospects for future generations through education and research, and abolish international inequities through improved development cooperation. To do these things, we must provide adequate financial resources. However, a sustainable budgetary policy also means leaving enough financial and social policy leeway for future generations. Heavy-handed approaches to governance combined with billions of euros of debt will deprive our children of any opportunity to set their own political priorities in future. For that reason, we are committed to rigorous debt reduction and targeted investment in a more equitable, green future.