Bundestag: Heil defends citizens’ money – pension reform in February

Bundestag: Heil defends citizens’ money – pension reform in February

The federal government wants to spend nine billion euros more on social issues in 2024 than last year. The Minister of Social Affairs defends the amount – and at the same time renews an announcement about pensions.

Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) defended the state’s billions in spending on social welfare and especially citizens’ money against criticism. At the same time, he announced that the planned pension reform would be presented in the next few weeks during the budget discussions in the Bundestag. The opposition reacted with sometimes strong criticism of the government’s social policy course.

Since the introduction of the minimum wage in 2015, around two million people have been able to move up from the low-wage sector, said Heil. Since then, the minimum wage has increased by 46 percent, and basic security has only increased by 41 percent. “The introduction of citizens’ money has not changed the wage gap,” stated Heil.

Union criticizes the level of social benefits

The CSU MP Peter Aumer, on the other hand, quoted Union parliamentary group leader Friedrich Merz (CDU) with the criticism that performance would only be adequately rewarded if there was a sufficiently large gap between income from work and social benefits. Citizens’ money had already been criticized by the Union, especially since it was significantly increased at the beginning of the year.

Heil announced that he would now present the pension reform that had been announced for months. “That’s why the federal government will present a pension package II in February, with which we will permanently secure the pension level in Germany,” he said. The government will not increase the statutory retirement age.

9.45 billion more for social welfare

The labor and social budget is by far the largest budget in the budget and includes expenditure of 175.7 billion euros – 9.45 billion more than in the previous year. The federal government has to spend more on many things in the social sector. His contribution to accommodation and heating costs for citizens’ benefit increases by around 1.4 to 11.1 billion euros. The reason is the deteriorating economic development and rising unemployment figures.

As part of the coalition’s most recent savings decisions, citizens’ money was estimated to be 500 million euros less than originally planned because refugees should find work more quickly thanks to the so-called “job turbo”. Stronger sanctions for “total refusers” are expected to reduce spending by 150 million euros. The subsidy to pension insurance will initially be reduced by 245 million euros.

Source: Stern

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