Family: Associations are calling for an increase in child benefit – proposal from the SPD

Family: Associations are calling for an increase in child benefit – proposal from the SPD

Is it fair to only increase the child allowance and not the child benefit? No, say the SPD and social associations. The FDP makes a different calculation.

In the internal coalition dispute over the child allowance and child benefit, the SPD and the Greens are receiving support from social associations. They point out that only top earners will benefit from an increase in the tax allowance and are calling for child benefit to also be increased. The SPD wants that too. The FDP, on the other hand, emphasizes that the latter has already increased and will now follow suit by increasing the tax allowance.

Parents automatically receive either child benefit or the income tax allowance for children. The tax office checks what is more advantageous for you. The allowance is often only worthwhile for higher incomes. The tax allowance was already increased from 6,024 euros to 6,384 on January 1st and, according to the Finance Ministry’s plans, should increase retroactively to 6,612 euros. Child benefit increased to a uniform 250 euros per month per child in 2023. This meant an increase of 31 euros per month for the first and second children and an increase of 25 euros per month for the third child.

“Every child must be worth the same to the state”

The SPD insists that child benefit also increases again. Social organizations also see it that way. “The increase in the tax allowance for children will result in a relief of 377 euros per month for top earners, while families with middle and low incomes will be left empty-handed, since according to Lindner the child benefit should remain at 250,” calculated the general manager of the Paritätischer Wohlfahrtsverband, Ulrich Schneider, in the Editorial Network Germany (RND). “It would therefore only be consistent, solidarity-based and also fair to set child benefit at 300 euros in a first step and increase it to 377 in the future,” demanded Schneider. The chairwoman of the German Social Association (SoVD), Michaela Engelmeier, told the RND: “Every child must be worth the same to the state. That is why child benefit and child tax allowance must be adjusted to each other in the future.”

The president of the social association VdK, Verena Bentele, warned that a separate increase in the child allowance would lead to the gap between rich and poor widening. But real justice can only be brought about by a system change with basic child protection. The federal managing director of the Child Protection Association, Daniel Grein, also emphasized that there is a need for basic child security that eliminates the coexistence of child allowances, child benefit and receipt of social benefits.

SPD wants to raise funds from top earners

The financial policy spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group, Michael Schrodi, suggested partially withdrawing tax relief for top earners in order to be able to use the additional income to increase child benefit in parallel with increasing the child tax allowance. “The strong shoulders can be put under greater strain for the benefit of the middle of society,” Schrodi told the RND as justification. He referred to a Federal Council initiative by the state of Hamburg, which calls for the inflation compensation decided in 2022 to be subsequently capped again for higher incomes.

FDP General Secretary Bijan Djir-Sarai called the SPD position on the issue “strange.” “At the suggestion of Chancellor Olaf Scholz, it was decided in 2022 to increase child benefit disproportionately to 250 euros in 2023 and to adjust the child allowance in the usual procedure. This decision will now be implemented,” said Djir-Sarai to the “Rheinische Post”. He emphasized that the government had already brought significant relief for families with children with an increase in child benefit, the faster adjustment of the standard rates of basic security for children to inflation and the increased child allowance.

In view of the controversy, government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said on Monday that the effects of wage developments, inflation and other factors on the calculations were currently being examined. Then it must be clarified whether, in addition to the allowance, an adjustment to child benefit is necessary and possible. At the same time, he pointed out that the child tax allowance and child benefit mechanism should be linked to the basic child benefit, which should apply from 2025. The planned basic child security is intended to bundle previous benefits such as child benefit, benefits from citizen’s benefit for children or the child allowance.

Source: Stern

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