Budget crisis: According to the spokesman, Ampel is sticking to the citizen’s benefit increase

Budget crisis: According to the spokesman, Ampel is sticking to the citizen’s benefit increase

The traffic light budget crisis has sparked a renewed discussion about citizens’ money. The FDP is calling for a reassessment. Now the government spokesman makes it clear: There will be no savings on the planned increase.

Despite the budget crisis, the federal government is sticking to the planned significant increase in citizens’ money at the beginning of 2024. “I don’t know that there are any plans within the federal government to change the legal basis,” said government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit on Monday in Berlin. Citizens’ money is expected to increase by an average of 12 percent on January 1, 2024. For single people, an increase of 61 euros to 563 euros is planned. Hebestreit made it clear: “Everything that would have to be changed now would have to be done on a legal basis.” However, there are currently no plans for this.

The renewed discussion about citizens’ money was sparked by the government’s current budget crisis. If the 2024 federal budget is to be passed this year, the SPD, FDP and Greens must soon agree on the next course.

The coalition party FDP and the opposition Union had therefore called for the planned increase in social benefits to be canceled at the turn of the year. They justified this, on the one hand, with the austerity constraints in the 2024 budget and, on the other hand, with the fact that the rate increase by twelve percent was based on an inflation expectation, which, however, did not occur at the level forecast.

Heil intervenes in the citizens’ money debate

Criticism of these demands comes from, among others, Federal Social Minister Hubertus Heil. The SPD politician criticized it as “morally irresponsible and incompatible with the constitution to want to deny these people an adjustment to the standard rates.” The statements made by “various conservative politicians are not a contribution to the solution, but rather poison the social climate,” he explained.

Heil explained: “Germany is and remains a social, constitutional state.” Decency, solidarity and charity are a strength of our society. “We use citizen’s money to get people into work and at the same time secure the existence of people who are in need and need our help.”

As examples, the minister cited people with chronic illnesses and disabilities, single parents, children and young people, and “hard-working employees who top up their wages so they can make ends meet.”

Budget crisis triggers renewed debate

In contrast to previous adjustments to the standard rates, the inflation, which had risen sharply over months, was taken more into account in the calculation for 2024 due to a change in the rules. According to General Secretary Carsten Linnemann, the CDU wants to significantly reduce the citizen’s allowance of able-bodied young adults if they take over the government.

The amount of citizen’s money is based on a so-called price index relevant to standard needs. This includes, among other things, expenses for food, household electricity, home furnishings and public transport.

Source: Stern

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