Time is of the essence: a committee is meeting on Wednesday to find a solution to the dispute over citizens’ income. The social association VdK warns against compromises at the expense of those who depend on the money.
In the ongoing dispute between the federal government and the Union about citizen income, the social association VdK has warned against delaying the reform.
Shortly before the decisive meeting of the mediation committee of the Bundesrat and Bundestag this Wednesday, VdK President Verena Bentele told the newspapers of the Funke media group that the citizens’ allowance had to come at the planned time. She also warned: “Despite all the time pressure, compromises still have to be found that ensure a real improvement for those affected and that can be easily implemented in practice.”
The Education and Science Union (GEW) also pushed for a quick agreement. The tugging between the traffic light government and the Union is “unworthy”. It will be carried out on the backs of the weakest members of society: children and young people, said the deputy GEW chairman Andreas Keller of the “Stuttgarter Zeitung” and the “Stuttgarter Nachrichten”.
According to the plans of the red-green-yellow federal government, the social reform should take effect at the beginning of the year. Citizens’ income is intended to replace the current Hartz IV system. Among other things, the reform provides for higher standard rates and more detailed support for the unemployed. It failed in the Bundesrat due to resistance from state governments led or involved by the Union. From the point of view of the CDU and CSU, those affected are granted too much protection. In addition, they would have to fear too few sanctions for breaches of duty.
Rehlinger demands movement from Union
Union faction leader Friedrich Merz (CDU) said on Monday that the basis for the Union’s approval could not be mere commitments from the traffic light coalition, but only a fully formulated draft law. With the so-called special fund for the Bundeswehr of 100 billion euros, the Union had “only had bad experiences” with political commitments made by the traffic lights in the spring, explained the CDU leader. Not a single one of these promises was kept.
Saarland Prime Minister Anke Rehlinger (SPD) appealed to the Union to show that it was willing to compromise. “There can be clever compromises without losing sight of the goal. But then the CDU/CSU will also have to move,” Rehlinger told the editorial network Germany. The Union must decide whether they want to put the party permanently over the country. “The CDU prime ministers are responsible for millions of people and not just for the CDU presidium,” explained Rehlinger.
Lower Saxony’s Prime Minister Stephan Weil (SPD) told the “Stuttgarter Zeitung” and the “Stuttgarter Nachrichten”: “With good will, a good compromise can be reached in terms of citizen income, the topic is unsuitable for mock political debates.” When the opposition criticizes citizen income, “partially there is a frightening ignorance and social coldness,” he said.