Before Wednesday’s meeting of the mediation committee on citizens’ income, the Union wants to force changes. Otherwise, there is another risk of clogging. An overview of the problems.
Because of the Union’s resistance in the Bundesrat, the most important social reform of the traffic light coalition was blocked. The Bundestag and the Bundesrat’s mediation committee are threatening to delay the introduction of citizens’ income, scheduled for January 1, which will replace the Hartz IV system, without an agreement this Wednesday.
An overview of what was discussed and where there was a movement before the mediation committee meeting between the government and the opposition.
Sanctions and “trust period” for job seekers
Federal Minister of Labor Hubertus Heil’s (SPD) plans include a six-month “trust period” at the start of citizenship benefits. In it, those affected face only a limited reduction in benefits if they miss an appointment at the job center multiple times. In this case, a ten percent reduction in benefits is possible.
However, after six months, there is a threat of additional deductions in case of breach of duty – for example, if the person concerned does not take a reasonable position. Benefits are then reduced by 20 percent the first time. The second time is 30 percent. Accommodation costs are no longer deductible.
The Union sees the plans as undermining the “incentive and demand” principle. It demands incentives for a quick return to the labor market with appropriate sanctions. “Therefore, the six-month ‘trust period’ must be erased,” says CDU leader Friedrich Merz. The coalition party FDP was ready to fulfill this demand of the Union.
Higher protection capacity
In the first 24 months, assistance is given according to traffic light plans if there are no “significant assets”. In the future, a limit of 60,000 Euros for the main beneficiary and 30,000 Euros for each other person in the household will apply. For a family of four this will save 150,000 Euros.
Too much, Unity finds. However, he is not completely against the increase in backup capability. Over the weekend, CDU Secretary General Mario Czaja requested that the amount be graded according to “how many years the recipient has worked and how old the person is”. A pension accumulated over the years should continue to be protected.
Increasing the standard rates – this is also the Union
The Union also favors raising standard rates in times of high inflation. However, it proposes to separate it from real citizen income reform and wants to resubmit an application that has once failed in the Bundestag. This is denied in the traffic light coalition. The Greens fear that after the increase the Union will completely block the rest of the planned social reform. FDP and SPD argue similarly.
From 1 January, the standard rate for single adults will increase by EUR 53 from the current EUR 449 to EUR 502 per month. This amount will increase to 402 euros for adults under the age of 25 living with their family, to 420 euros for young people aged 14-18, and to 348 euros for children aged 6-14. It is 318 Euros for children under the age of six.
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