Family: FDP rejects Paus’ proposal for basic child security

Family: FDP rejects Paus’ proposal for basic child security

The social project is once again causing a ruckus in the coalition. The FDP does not want to support Minister Paus’s proposal to create thousands of new jobs. The schedule is also in jeopardy.

The planned basic child protection continues to cause trouble in the traffic light coalition. There is strong criticism, particularly from the FDP parliamentary group, of the previous proposals from Federal Family Minister Lisa Paus (Greens) for the implementation of the billion-dollar project.

The parliamentary managing director of the parliamentary group, Johannes Vogel, firmly rejects the creation of thousands of new jobs as desired by Paus. “Why the Ministry of Family Affairs has just now repeated the old and absurd demand for 5,000 new jobs seems puzzling,” Vogel told the German Press Agency. Vogel emphasized that basic child protection must be about digitalizing processes and reducing bureaucracy rather than building it up. “Unfortunately, there is currently no working concept for this.”

Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) and deputy parliamentary group leader Gyde Jensen, among others, had previously expressed their dissatisfaction with Paus’ proposal.

The family minister had previously confirmed that she believed it was right to create 5,000 positions to handle basic child welfare. Paus told the Saturday editions of the “Rheinische Post” and the “General-Anzeiger”: “The additional staff means a reduction in bureaucracy for the citizens. At the moment they are carrying the burden of bureaucracy and have to run from Pontius to Pilate.”

And further: “With the 5,000 positions, we want to move from the citizens’ obligation to collect them to the state’s obligation to provide them. We will have significantly more applications than before.” According to Paus, basic child welfare could reach up to 5.6 million children and young people. Minister Lindner had said: “I find the idea that the state has an obligation to pay social benefits disturbing – especially when 5,000 new state employees have to be hired to achieve this.”

Can the schedule be adhered to?

The draft law on basic child security is currently being discussed in parliament between the parliamentary groups. From 2025 onwards, the social reform is intended to bundle existing benefits such as child benefit, benefits from citizens’ benefit for children or the child allowance. Basic child welfare is considered the Greens’ prestige social policy project.

The cabinet passed a bill in September with the aim of ensuring that basic child welfare comes into force on January 1, 2025. After concerns from the Federal Employment Agency and the Federal Council, the federal government announced in December that it would review the schedule. In response to a dpa request, Paus’s ministry announced last week that the schedule and timing of the draft’s adoption “depend on the progress of the discussions” in parliament.

Doubts are growing that January 1, 2025 can be adhered to – including in the SPD parliamentary group. The parliamentary group’s family policy spokesman, Sönke Rix, criticized the draft law on basic child security “only quite late in this legislative period.” The SPD assumes “that we will not be able to introduce complete basic child security by mid-2025,” Rix told the “Rheinische Post”. An introduction in several steps is therefore more likely.

Support and conflict

However, there was support for the much-maligned minister from the ranks of the Greens. The Green parliamentary group vice-president Andreas Audretsch confirmed that the project was not in jeopardy: “All coalition partners have committed to basic child security, basic child security will come,” he said. The reform would “combine and simplify” services and make it “clearer and less bureaucratic” for families, promised Audretsch.

Social associations and the Left party sharply criticized the renewed coalition dispute over basic child welfare. The federal managing director of the Left, Katina Schubert, spoke of an “undignified tug of war”. The state is not “making a dent in itself if it recognizes its own responsibility towards people who may be single parents, working and possibly still in poor health,” explained Schubert.

The chairwoman of the German Social Association, Michaela Engelmeier, focused on those affected. “It was recently reported that more than one in five children and one in five young people in Germany is affected by poverty. In order to combat this misery, real basic child security would be important,” she explained. Instead, the FDP ensured “that this very important project was significantly curtailed,” criticized Engelmeier.

The social association VdK once again called for the removal of hurdles for families. “The bureaucratic madness makes the fight against child poverty extremely difficult,” explained VdK President Verena Bentele. Families sometimes have to “go through up to four authorities in order to secure their children financially”. It is no wonder that many would then forego certain types of help. With basic child security, a “complete system change” must succeed.

Source: Stern

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