Dusseldorf More progress for NRW – that’s what the Free Democrats demand and have compiled the ideas for this in their electoral program for the regional elections. Overview of the key points.
“Onward from here.” This is the motto of the FDP, with which the party is campaigning for the regional elections in North Rhine-Westphalia this year. Progress is also at the heart of their 96-page election manifesto. Besides faster digitization, the Liberals have other priorities:
training The FDP calls for more equality in education in NRW. Families should be supported with more years of non-contributory care. The party is also planning more flexible opening hours, in particular to relieve parents who work in shifts. For this reason, additional childcare staff will be provided on a long-term basis. In schools, on the other hand, the FDP wants to promote talent, whatever their background or origin. To this end, 100,000 scholarships are to be distributed and talent scouts set up in each school. On the other hand, the current pilot project with 60 talent schools is to be expanded to 1000 across the country.
To reside The FDP also wants to provide housing relief for young families – with an allowance for the purchase of owned accommodation. In addition, the party plans to reduce “significantly” property transfer taxes in a second phase. People who cannot yet afford home ownership need to be supported through different models – repayment subsidies or interest rate reductions. In multi-purpose, innovative and environmentally friendly high-rise buildings, living spaces, educational opportunities and businesses must be provided. In addition, tenant protection provisions such as the brake on the price of rents, the ceiling and the blocking period for termination should relax the housing market.
digitization From digital education in kindergartens and schools to digital construction planning and digital optimization of road traffic – the FDP wants to promote digitization. Above all, the administration must be modernized. This means: less bureaucracy and more electronic processing. In future, it should also be possible for everyone to contact the administration digitally from their couch at home. To enable digitalization in all parts of the country, the Liberals want to complete gigabit expansion by 2025 and promote network coverage with 5G.
Business According to the FDP, start-ups are the “engine of progress”. It is therefore all the more important to continue to promote seed exchanges. At least 1,000 founders should continue to receive financial and immaterial support: with 1,000 euros per month and one year without bureaucracy. According to the FDP, it should be possible to found a company completely digitally and with as little contact as possible with the authorities. At the same time, according to the party, the landscape of start-ups must be rejuvenated: for this, it is necessary to introduce schoolchildren to entrepreneurship from an early age and to facilitate start-ups from the age of 16 – including in the trades. . It doesn’t matter where the talent comes from: the FDP wants to make the country more attractive to skilled workers, for example by facilitating the recognition of foreign diplomas. North Rhine-Westphalia should not only remain the “number 1 start-up country” among the liberals, but also become the innovation leader: the FDP predicts that research and development expenditure by 2030 will represent 3.5% of gross domestic product.
mobility Innovation is also the key word in the field of low-emission mobility. There, the FDP wants to rely on electric cars and at the same time push the development of other propulsion, for example with hydrogen or synthetic fuels. But the Liberals are also looking at other modes of transport: points such as the transfer of freight traffic to the water, the widening of cycle paths or the expansion of rail traffic are on the party’s electoral program. Local public transport must become an attractive alternative to the car. A first step: a digital ticketing system. Using a mobile app, it should in future be possible to book bus and train tickets throughout North Rhine-Westphalia.
climate protection According to the FDP, greenhouse gas neutrality by 2045 must also be achieved in NRW. However, the Liberals do not want to do without it, but rather rely on “the right measures”. According to the program, the objective is not to completely avoid the use of carbon. Instead, innovative ways should be found to use this raw material more sustainably. With the help of innovative technologies, recycling must be expanded in order to obtain new raw materials from waste and thus circumvent product bans. But the FDP also wants to encourage the expansion of renewable energies: by 2030, more than 55% of electricity should be produced in this way. However, climate protection must not become a social issue, which is why the party wants, among other things, to lower taxes on electricity.
finance The FDP is clearly opposed to easing the debt brake so as not to weigh more heavily on future generations. The party also rejects tax increases. The program stipulates that the property tax should not be interpreted as a property tax. Instead, the Liberals are counting on a rapid economic recovery from the pandemic through “foresighted economic policy.” State companies and holdings must be tested and subsidies must be limited. In addition, the FDP wants to reduce the corona debt as quickly as possible in view of the expected increase in tax revenue so that the country is ready for new financial challenges. At the same time, expenditure must be critically questioned: are these investments absolutely necessary? What is the objective of the respective funding program and by what means?
Security More police for more security: The FDP wants to hire up to 3,000 new police officers per year in the future. In addition, all police authorities in the district must be equipped with Tasers to increase the protection of officers. Just by wearing such a device, the number of attacks on police officers in the pilot project fell by 80%, according to the electoral platform. The fight against disasters must also be modernized and voluntary work in the volunteer fire brigade and other aid organizations encouraged. In addition, the FDP plans to strengthen the judiciary with more personnel at all levels.
All NRW state election news, data and analysis can be found here.
Here is the photo gallery: National election NRW 2022 – the FDP election program