German Chancellor and head of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Angela Merkel (R) talks with Gerda Hasselfeldt, the chairwoman of the Bundestag group of Christian Social Union parliamentarians, before a CDU/CSU faction meeting in Berlin, February 18, 2014. REUTERS/Thomas Peter(reuters_tickers)
(Reuters) - Fiscal policy leaders in German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives agreed to cut taxes by 15 billion euros per year in the next legislative period if they stay in power after the 2017 election, two parliamentary floor leaders said on Friday.
Volker Kauder of the Christian Democrats (CDU) and Gerda Hasselfeldt of the Christian Social Union (CSU) said the 15-billion euro per year cut would be the conservatives' goal in the election.
The government's budget for 2016 is 316 billion euros.
The United States and Germany's European Union partners have long urged Germany, which is flush with cash and has been running budget surpluses since 2014, to cut taxes to boost growth.
Germany's budget surplus surged to 18.5 billion euros, or 1.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), in the first half of 2016.
Hasselfeldt said the tax cuts should be structured to provide relief for middle-incomes.
(Reporting by Andreas Rinke; writing by Erik Kirschbaum; Editing by Toby Chopra)