Fight against child poverty: Little progress in basic child benefits – associations angry

Fight against child poverty: Little progress in basic child benefits – associations angry
Fight against child poverty: Little progress in basic child benefits – associations angry

The draft bill by Family Minister Paus should actually have been approved in parliament long ago, but the traffic light factions cannot agree. Social associations see an urgent need for action.

The parliamentary negotiations on the introduction of a basic child benefit are still proving difficult. According to the current agenda of the Bundestag, the plenary session will no longer deal with the draft law, which the MPs have been discussing for several months, before the summer recess. “The negotiations in the Bundestag are ongoing, we want to reach a good result quickly,” said the Green Party’s deputy parliamentary group leader Andreas Audretsch to the German Press Agency. However, it is unclear when exactly this result can be expected.

The Federal Cabinet had already approved the draft last autumn. The Bundestag has been discussing it for weeks. The basic child benefit was originally supposed to be introduced on January 1, 2025.

Associations and scientists again urged rapid implementation. The “Alliance for Basic Child Benefits”, which includes 20 associations and 13 scientists, complained that the draft had been stuck in parliament for months. While members of parliament went on their summer break, poor families in Germany lacked money for vacation trips and visits to the outdoor pool, explained the chairwoman of the social association VdK, Verena Bentele. Her SoVD colleague Michaela Engelmeier demanded: “Politicians must finally put child poverty at the top of the priority list and implement a basic child benefit that deserves the name.”

SPD and FDP do not support Paus’ draft

It is currently unclear in what form the project can be implemented at all. Recently, politicians from the SPD and FDP expressed reservations about the draft by Family Minister Lisa Paus (Greens) and indicated that even after weeks of negotiations, there was a need for discussion on fundamental points. SPD parliamentary group vice-chairman Sönke Rix recently told the “Rheinische Post” that only an introduction in several stages was realistic.

There is hardly a political project in the coalition agreement “on which we are making such difficult progress – especially because the willingness to compromise and the necessary realism are lacking,” deputy FDP parliamentary group leader Gyde Jensen told the newspaper.

The basic child benefit is considered the Greens’ social prestige project. The traffic light coalition wants to “improve the lives of all children in Germany,” emphasized the Green politician Audretsch. The social reform is intended to bundle existing benefits such as child benefit, benefits from the citizen’s allowance for children or the child supplement. The federal government’s goal is to reach all children who are entitled to social benefits in the future. How exactly this can be achieved is still unclear.

Source: Stern

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