Basic child security: traffic light coalition agrees on disputed topic

Basic child security: traffic light coalition agrees on disputed topic

Once again, a night round in the Chancellery had to be used to clear up a contentious issue in the traffic light coalition: a compromise has apparently been found when it comes to basic child security. Details are to be announced in the morning.

Shortly before their cabinet meeting at Meseberg Castle, the traffic light government agreed on the controversial issue of basic child security. The German press agency learned this during the night in Berlin from three sources in the traffic light coalition. Details are said to be presented today.

From Green circles it said: “Tonight the agreement was reached on basic child security. Federal Minister Lisa Paus can count it as a success that she managed to set the course for the project.” The agreement was preceded by months of dogged fundamental discussions, especially between the Greens and the FDP in the traffic light of Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD).

On Sunday evening, Scholz, Paus and Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) met for talks in the Chancellery. Around midnight it became known that the basic child security system had gotten together. Lindner had previously said in the ZDF “summer interview” that he expected a quick agreement on key points. After that, associations and states would be involved, and only then would there be a finished draft law that would go to the Bundestag.

“Get more children out of poverty”

In their coalition agreement, the SPD, the Greens and the FDP agreed to introduce basic child security. Previous benefits such as child benefit, benefits from the citizen benefit for children or the child allowance are to be bundled in it. With more transparency and with the help of a central platform, many families are to be reached who, due to ignorance or bureaucratic hurdles, have not been able to access the funds to which they are entitled. “We want to get more children out of poverty and are focusing in particular on digitization,” says the coalition agreement.

However, a permanent dispute had developed between the Greens and the FDP about how much money the state should now spend on basic child security and whether benefits should be increased or not. The responsible family minister, Paus, had initially estimated 12 billion euros per year, she later spoke of up to 7 billion euros. Finance Minister Lindner named a sum of initially only 2 billion euros as a “note item”. It was initially unclear what amount the coalition had agreed on in the talks.

Scholz wants more unity

Even before the summer break, the coalition partners had repeatedly argued, particularly violently about the so-called heating law. This Tuesday, Scholz and the ministers will meet at Schloss Meseberg near Berlin for their fifth cabinet retreat. At the weekend, the chancellor tried to bring more unity to the traffic light government. When asked whether mutual legal blockades would continue, he told Mediengruppe Bayern: “I can only warn against that.” He also said: “We should focus more on highlighting the successes of the government’s activities and having the necessary discussions about our projects internally.”

First of all, the SPD parliamentary group is meeting today and tomorrow in Wiesbaden – the parliamentary group of the Greens is meeting in Berlin at the same time. The SPD parliamentary group is primarily concerned with a state-subsidized industrial electricity price. The members of the parliamentary group, which also includes Scholz, want to decide on a concrete concept. The leadership of the parliamentary group proposes a price of five cents per kilowatt hour, limited to at least five years, for companies that are particularly hard hit by high energy costs.

New potential for conflict

Scholz has so far expressed skepticism about state aid. He now has to show his colors in the exam. The topic harbors new potential for conflict for the traffic light. The FDP rejects the subsidy, the Greens are in favor. Another proposed resolution for the SPD retreat deals with the subject of housing. There is talk of a “nationwide rent freeze”. Specifically, it is required that rents in tense residential areas should not increase by more than six percent in three years and also not exceed the local comparative rent.

In view of rising rents, Green Party leader Katharina Dröge is calling for the reforms announced in the coalition agreement with the SPD and FDP to be speeded up. “The extension of the rental price brake, the significant reduction in the cap limit and the clear regulation of index rents are urgently needed,” Dröge told the newspapers of the Funke media group. Rents have risen enormously and are increasingly pushing people on low and middle incomes to their breaking point. “Nevertheless, we have been waiting for the implementation of the coalition agreement on affordable rents for 1.5 years.”

Bushman against restriction on index rents

In the coalition agreement, the traffic light parties had agreed to extend the rental price brake until 2029 and to lower the cap on rent increases to eleven percent in three years. There is currently a limit for rent increases of 20 percent in three years. In areas with a tight housing market, it is 15 percent. Plans to limit index rents are not mentioned in the coalition agreement. Indexed leases allow landlords to increase rents annually as consumer prices rise.

The Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP), who is responsible for the topic, has so far spoken out against a restriction on index rents. The subject also finds approval in the SPD.

Source: Stern

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