German finance minister resists pressure for quick tax cuts

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Germany's finance minister is resisting pressure for quick tax cuts and extra spending after the country posted another budget surplus.

Wolfgang Schaeuble plans to use the federal government's 6.2 billion-euro ($6.6 billion) surplus to pay off debt. The conservative Christian Democrats of Schaeuble and Chancellor Angela Merkel have long made getting Germany's finances in order a key policy plank, though they're raising the prospect of tax cuts after this year's election.

The rival center-left Social Democrats and Merkel's Bavarian conservative allies would like to see action sooner. But Schaeuble told Friday's edition of the daily Bild that the next government should undertake a "comprehensive reform" of income and business tax.

He added: "You cannot finance permanent tax cuts from the surplus at the end of one year. That isn't serious."