The Minister of Labor needs even more money than previously known for citizens’ benefit. More people than expected are affected – and also receive support for rent and heating.
The federal government’s spending on citizens’ benefit recipients will be even higher this year than already known. The Ministry of Labor under department head Hubertus Heil (SPD) needs an additional 1.15 billion euros for accommodation and heating services.
This emerges from a letter from Finance State Secretary Florian Toncar (FDP) to the Budget Committee, which is available to the dpa. The “Bild” newspaper first reported about it. These benefits are paid by the job center in addition to the standard citizen’s benefit rate.
It was only on Thursday that Toncar informed the budget committee of an “excessive expenditure” for citizens’ money of 2.1 billion euros. The total expenditure should therefore be 25.9 billion euros. The additional costs that have now become known will be added.
According to Toncar, expenses of up to around 11.6 billion euros can be expected for accommodation and heating. A spokeswoman for the Federal Ministry of Labor said on Sunday that it has now become clear “that rents, heating costs and other additional costs, which determine the need for this title, have increased more than we expected a year ago.”
The number of benefit recipients is increasing
According to Toncar’s letter, the main reason for the rising costs of citizens’ benefit is the increased number of those affected. “The main reason is the significantly deteriorated economic situation,” said the Finance State Secretary. Compared to previous expectations, higher unemployment figures are expected in 2023. The ongoing Russian war of aggression in Ukraine is also leading to many refugees leaving the country.
Heil had previously defended the state’s expected higher spending on citizens’ money. The reasons for increased costs lie primarily in high inflation, weaker economic development and the care of Ukrainian refugees, said Heil in an interview published on Sunday by the news portal “T-Online”.
Heil said that the expected reduction in inflation, an economic revival and more placement of Ukrainian refugees in jobs could lead to cost containment. “All of this will help to get people out of need into work and thus also reduce the costs of basic security.”
Heil’s spokeswoman explained that it was now a matter of combating the causes of the additional costs. “That’s why we’re trying to get even more refugees into work with the job turbo,” she said. A package of measures is intended to place refugees with prospects of staying in jobs more quickly than before.
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