The negotiations took place under high pressure – but compromises were found almost at the last minute on what is probably the biggest social reform of this electoral term.
After days of struggling, the traffic light coalition and the Union have cleared the way for the planned citizens’ allowance. Both sides reached compromises in the disputes over the planned social reform, as they announced in Berlin on Tuesday. Citizens’ income is to replace today’s Hartz IV benefits on January 1, 2023.
The Union had insisted that there be more sanctions for recipients than originally planned – and was able to prevail. The traffic light had provided for a “confidence period” of six months during which these sanctions should not apply. This trust period is now completely dispensed with. Instead, benefit reductions should take effect from the start if, for example, the unemployed do not apply for a job even though this was agreed with the job center. A step-by-step model was agreed for this purpose.
Agreement on recipient assets
In addition, the CDU and CSU had demanded that those affected be allowed to keep less of their own assets if they received the state benefit. The traffic light had planned a saving of 60,000 euros. The compromise now provides for an amount of 40,000 euros for the first person in a benefit community and 15,000 euros for each additional person. There is a waiting period of one year – the traffic light had wanted two years. During this time, benefit recipients do not have to use up the savings. Retirement provision is completely exempt from this and protected.
The FDP had previously asked the Greens and SPD to compromise. “Even more attractive additional income rules” should also be considered. According to the previous draft, those who earn between 520 and 1000 euros should be able to keep more of their income in the future.
It had already been planned that the mediation committee of the Bundestag and Bundesrat would finalize a compromise this Wednesday. Parliament and the state chamber are then supposed to pass the Citizens’ Allowance Act by Friday. As of January 1st, the salary of single people should increase by more than 50 euros to 502 euros.