He also argued that if Luxembourg had a higher productivity, then less people would have to work and move here, which would also alleviate the housing shortage and pressures on traffic.
The financial centre must reinvent itself, warned Wurth. He was worried that 28% of national value added was created by the financial sector, and that the economy was monolithic. He argued that the sector needed to diversify
“Tax niches are over”
Wurth said that tax niches are over, and that Luxembourg needed to build on its competitive advantages. While traditional banking, funds, new service providers such as lawyers and the Big Four have been flourishing in Luxembourg, they need to build on the competitive advantages.
Wurth called for corporate taxation to be slashed, as it (combined with local corporate tax) was higher than in many European states. Furthermore, he argued for more administrative streamlining of administrative procedures to get applications through for industrial zones. It should not just happen quickly when Google comes knocking, the same quick procedures should be available to national companies, which sometimes have to wait for 5 years, Wurth explained.
On reforming the system of stock options, Wurth agreed that abuse should be stemmed, but that the concept should stay as they were a useful tool to attract highly skilled employees.
On the other hand, projects such as space mining should be welcomed, even though they are niche. SES Astra was a good example how this could work.