Our economic system and our understanding of prosperity are facing fundamental changes. Germany's economy must pursue the path to climate neutrality. If the course is not set, it will be too late - for the global climate and for the competitiveness of German and European industry. The old industry will have to reinvent itself to achieve this. Our task is to pave the way to the new with a socio-ecological refoundation of the market economy.
Markets must serve the people. They are not an end in themselves. With strong regulatory barriers, we are bringing social welfare back into the market economy. The low-wage sector is too large, minimum wages are too low. We want to change this with a minimum wage of twelve euros, social standards and fair competition.
We are striving for an economic and financial system that respects the planetary limits and at the same time makes entrepreneurship possible. A Green New Deal paves the way for this. It creates the new regulatory framework for fair, ecological and sustainable business. It is invests courageously in the future. It releases new forces for creativity and innovation. It creates the foundation for sustainable prosperity that is not based on the exploitation of nature, but focuses of people. Every generation has its task. Redefining prosperity as a question of sustainability and justice and orienting politics in that direction is ours.
For Germany, overcoming the coal and oil age is a decisive, even fateful moment. Automotive, chemical and mechanical engineering industries have been the pillars of the success for the German economy in recent decades, but they must reinvent themselves to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
Many companies are already on the way to achieving this. Medium-sized companies are switching their production to carbon neutrality, financial institutions are withdrawing from the fossil energy sector, IT companies are turning to renewables and large corporations are expanding their green product portfolios. Industry is already demanding a convincing ecological modernisation programme for Germany. The technologies, innovations and ideas are there. The time for politics to deliver is now.
We want to give the companies planning security and support them with public funding for the necessary investments in ecological conversion. Where the costs of avoiding CO2 are higher than the price of CO2, we reimburse companies for the difference. And we use climate tariffs to protect them from dirty competition from countries that do not take measures to protect the climate. In this way, we are establishing the basis for the necessary innovations to be developed and made marketable in Europe, thus creating sustainable new jobs in the trades, in start-ups, in the service sector and also in traditional industrial companies.
Research and development and the successful transfer of scientific knowledge to the economy and society are decisive for innovation. Basic research has to be strengthened and more emphasis placed on research freedom in many areas. There is a need for pioneers who are willing to take risks and set up their own businesses in order to put their ideas into practice. But they do depend on support and the right environment.
We want good ideas not to fail due to a lack of equity. Anyone who wants to set up a company should therefore receive an interest-free loan of 25,000 euros. Advice and funding will be available from one source. A public future fund to support start-ups will be established. This fund will support start-ups with equity capital and thus act as a silent partner. This will make more venture capital available and prevent successful start-ups from being sold off to foreign companies.
The self-employed should also be well covered. That is why we are proposing that the self-employed on low incomes should have more favourable insurance coverage for health, care and voluntary unemployment insurance. Self-employed persons who are not otherwise covered should be included in the statutory pension insurance.
To ensure that the future not only takes place in the urban areas, fibre optics for fast Internet must also be available on the countryside. To this end, we want to sell the German government's Telekom shares and use the proceeds of around EUR 10 billion to expand the Internet. The digital economy is data-driven. We want to make public sector data available to companies in anonymized form so that they can keep pace with the tech giants. By providing clear legal foundations for data pools and data trust models, we enable companies to share data.
We are ending the investment backlog in our country. We want to invest at least an additional EUR 30 billion each year, for example in modern infrastructure and mobility, in energy conservation and energy-efficient construction, in education, research and innovation. To this end, we are calling for a decade of investment in the future and are amending the debt brake in the German Basic Law so that limited investments in the future can also be financed with loans. In times in which the federal government no longer has to pay interest, we are growing public assets.