Germany agrees tax reform

Senior members of the German government agreed a tax reform plan yesterday to curb the extent of a tax rise for energy intensive companies from 2011 by hiking tobacco duty. Government officials also agreed on a simplification of the tax system from 2012 which would bring tax relief of €500m (£445m), the ministers said. The package means corporate energy consumers will not be hit as hard by the environmental tax as first thought. Parliament must debate the plan before it can be adopted.