“One of my main priorities will be to keep the social cohesion in Luxembourg.“ says Luc Frieden, Head of CSV list (PPE), former minister.
What are you priorities for the upcoming election?
One of my main priorities will be to keep the social cohesion in Luxembourg. For that purpose we need to have a competitive economy with a sustainable and inclusive growth. In other words, an economy that creates good jobs, is sustainable and innovative. We need growth to keep our standard of living. A competitive economy will generate the necessary taxes which will allow us to finance a strong social agenda which makes sure that people have enough purchasing power to live well. This requires that we focus social expenditures on those who need it most. It also requires us to reduce the tax burden that has increased substantially over the past years with an increase of the VAT and due to the inflation related tax increases. Next to strenghtening the purchasing power of the people, I will of course also make sure that our public infrastructure, in particular the health sector, will be able to react more quickly to the growth of the population. We need more investments and more private initiative in the health sector. The housing problem which became much bigger over the past ten years requires massive structural reforms. We need to increase the offer by building more, higher and faster. The State needs to invest more in social housing and support the private investment.
Which aspects of the economy need to be improved to keep Luxembourg competitive?
We need to work on two main aspects: taxation and administrative hurdles. The tax rate for people and for companies must be such that people want to work in Luxembourg and companies want to invest here. As for administrative hurdles, it has simply become too complicated for people who want to build houses or factories or expand their infrastructure to get decisions in a short period of time. Situations such as the one with the joghurt company are very bad for our country. We need to simplify the procedures and speed them up.
Which opportunity do you identify for the future?
The ecological and digital transformation. I want Luxembourg to be a leader in green finance, to have companies with the best eco-friendly technologies. The digitalisation also makes our life easier. This is a huge opportunity for our people in terms of jobs, investments and quality of life. We need a Marshall plan to support the dual transition and substantially increase renewable energies.