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Federal government: Esken warns Lindner of historic budget mistake

Federal government: Esken warns Lindner of historic budget mistake
Federal government: Esken warns Lindner of historic budget mistake

The traffic light coalition is wrangling over the budget for the election year 2025. A major construction site in view of fundamental differences – which SPD leader Esken and Finance Minister Lindner are publicly airing.

SPD leader Saskia Esken has warned Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) against making a historic mistake in the negotiations on the budget for next year. “We want to actively shape Germany and make it future-proof,” Esken told the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. “To do this, we must invest massively.” The party leader stressed: “Christian Lindner is making a historic mistake if he continues to stick to his rigid austerity policy, which is paralyzing our country.”

The budget negotiations of the traffic light coalition are difficult. Various departments do not want to comply with Lindner’s savings targets. The finance minister insists that the debt brake anchored in the constitution is adhered to. This only allows for new debt to a very limited extent. Lindner had recently left open whether the cabinet would approve the 2025 federal budget by the planned deadline of July 3.

Lindner countered an accusation by Esken that he was questioning the welfare state. “No – I question the EXPANSION of the welfare state,” the FDP leader wrote overnight on Platform X. Since 2022, expansions have cost 13 billion euros in tax money annually, he said. “We have to slow that down as long as we don’t have growth.”

Esken had told the “Tagesspiegel”: “The welfare state must not be questioned again and again, especially now, but must stand by the side of the people so that they can embrace change with courage and confidence.” The debt brake is increasingly becoming a “brake on the future that endangers our prosperity,” said the SPD leader.

She was reacting to a statement by Lindner, who had argued that the investment needs up to 2030 and beyond could be covered by the regular budget. “The prerequisite is that we make a reallocation, that we shift priorities,” he told the portal “The Pioneer.” Lindner cited the social budget as an example: “We spend billions of euros to support people who are not working.” A labor market policy is needed “that strengthens its demanding character.”

Source: Stern

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