DIE LINKE as a socialist party stands for alternatives, for a better future. We democratic socialists, the democratic left with different political biographies, ideological and religious influences, women and men, old and young, established and immigrants, people with and without disabilities, have come together in a new left party. We cling to the dream of mankind that a better world is possible. (Programme Of The DIE LINKE Party - Preamble)

For More Democracy

DIE LINKE wants Germany to be a democratic society in all areas of life.  Democracy is not a ready-made state; democracy is lived by people day after day: from the international, European and German levels down to local economy. Therefore, the scope for people to directly influence politics, apart from elections, has to be widened and safeguarded at all levels. This is why DIE LINKE demands e.g. the democratic control of economic power and referenda also at federal level. For DIE LINKE, moreover, democracy is the active protection of civil and fundamental rights. Fighting racism in its substance is necessary but not enough. Whenever the Nazis claim for themselves the public sphere resistance is necessary - for us, antifascism is a civic duty. This struggle can only succeed if many citizens commit to it – at enterprises and administrative offices, by marches, protests, and strikes but also in neighbourly conversations.

For a Fair and Socially-caring Society

DIE LINKE demands the introduction of a nationwide legal minimum wage, and a ban on labour leasing. Marginal jobs have to be turned into regular employment and the situation of jobless has to be uplifted. Working hours have to be shortened and workloads need to be reduced. The Hartz IV labour regulations put jobless people under general suspicion of shying work. We reject such an approach. DIE LINKE demands the gradual elimination of Hartz-IV and the introduction of a sanction-free minimum benefit.

Along with good pay for good work and the withdrawal of the rise of the statutory retirement age to 67, we demand the restoration of the old pension formula. Average earners should be entitled to pensions high enough to provide a decent living. People who were unable to sufficiently contribute to the pension fund must get legal minimum pensions. Nobody should suffer from poverty in old age and everybody have the prospect of an old age in dignity. The lifetime work of East and West German pensioners must be recognized as equal.

Only a targeted taxation of large properties will restore social justice in Germany. DIE LINKE calls for the reintroduction of property tax in the form of a millionaire tax which is to affect only the really wealthy. Properties of less than one million are exempted from this tax. Properties exceeding this limit are taxed at a rate of five per cent. Instead, the tax burden on low and medium earners is to be eased.

One Europe for All

Peace, democracy, welfare, and social equity: These were the core messages of the European idea which over decades led to a far-reaching economic and political unification of Europe. But especially since the economic and financial crisis in 2008 this European idea has been betrayed by politics. Savings regimes are imposed on sovereign European Union member states which subject them to an unprecedented dismantling of democracy and the welfare state. To overcome the economic and financial crisis in Europe we demand the restructuring of banking, the independence of state finances from the financial markets, and Europe-wide taxes on financial transactions and large properties. But it is not only the economy which is concerned. Europe is threatened by a turn towards nationalist, right-wing populist, and partially fascist policy.

War is No Political Tool

DIE LINKE is opposed to all foreign military engagements and calls for the immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the withdrawal from the other operational areas. The presence of the Bundeswehr is not conducive to civilian reconstruction or humanitarian aid. Germany has to restrict the mission of its military forces to national defence and disaster relief. The military potential of Germany – and the EU – should be deconstructed and defence spending reduced. DIE LINKE demands civilian conflict prevention and resolution as an alternative to war employments. To this effect, more funds should be invested in development cooperation and civilian crisis prevention. German foreign policy has to become peace policy.

Worldwide disarmament and the prohibition of all weapons of mass destruction have to be put back on the international agenda. The Federal Government must honour its promise and actively commit to the non-proliferation of offensive weapons and to disarmament. Arms exports have to be outlawed. DIE LINKE wants the deployment of nuclear weapons in Germany to be ended and disarmament to be made a task of the state.

High-quality Education for All

DIE LINKE wants every child to have equal opportunities. The German education system, however, is a far cry from this. A child’s future must not be determined by the origin, the financial situation, and the educational standard of its parents. DIE LINKE stands for a social education system offering everyone every opportunity. This starts from the right of every child to a nursery place, includes an extension of integrated learning, guaranteed apprenticeship, and free university studies. Not social exclusion, but cooperation should determine modern learning.

For a Social Energy Policy

An entirely different energy policy has to be geared to the aim of a renewable and at the same time democratized energy supply. Energy and climate policy has to be designed in a socially fair way. Every person has the right to an affordable energy provision. DIE LINKE demands an effective supervision of current and gas prices plus consumer advisory boards safeguarding the energy buyers’ insight in and co-decision on pricing. The prompt introduction of social tariffs could quickly relieve low-income households. In the medium and long-term prospect, the shift from the fossil-nuclear energy industry to energy supply from renewable sources coupled with the sparing and efficient use of energy is the only way to guaranteeing affordable energy prices.