Worst cases of wasted tax revenue in Germany revealed

Source: Xinhua| 2018-11-07 04:38:16|Editor: yan
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BERLIN, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- The association of German taxpayers (BdSt) published their annual Black Book in Berlin on Tuesday that lists the most significant cases of wasting tax money.

The focus of this year's Black Book is the "explosion of construction cost" for public construction projects. According to BdSt, the construction of 4 out of 10 new buildings by the German government exceeded the planned costs.

"In many other countries in northwestern Europe these costs are not getting out of hand as much as in this country," said BdSt president Reiner Holznagel during the presentation of the Black Book, which lists a total of 109 cases of wastage of tax money.

One of the most prominent examples is the Beethoven hall in Bonn. On the occasion of Ludwig van Beethoven's 250th birthday, the concert hall is supposed to become the central venue for events during the anniversary of one of Germany's most famous classical composer. However, the ongoing renovation work is not expected to be completed before 2020 and will cost German tax payers 94 million euros (107.3 million U.S. dollars) instead of 60 million euros, the BdSt estimated.

According to BdSt, one of the costliest cases of wasted tax money was the rescue of the HSH Nordbank. The bank went bankrupt in 2008 and had to be saved twice by the government since then. In 2018, the bank was finally sold to American investors which led to total losses of at least eleven billion euros.

The association also criticized spending on military projects by the German armed forces (Bundeswehr). 900 million euros have been invested in reconnaissance drones which are barely compatible with the American system that most other countries are using. "With this decision Germany will stand isolated in the European Union and NATO alliance," explained Holznagel.

The ministry of labor was criticized by the BdSt for spending one million euros on an advertising campaign before the respective pension law had even been passed by the government.