Citizens’ allowance reform of the traffic lights rejected by the Federal Council

Im dispute about the planned citizen money a mediation procedure between the Bundestag and the Bundesrat is in the offing. The conversion of the Hartz IV basic security system decided by the Bundestag last week did not find a majority in the state chamber on Monday. There, the traffic light coalition of SPD, Greens and FDP is dependent on additional votes from the Union-led countries for adoption. However, they call for changes to the draft law. Minister of Labor Hubertus Heil (SPD) had announced in the Bundesrat that the federal government would “call the mediation committee today”. In the event of an agreement in the body, the Bundestag and Bundesrat would have to vote again.

In the coalition, it was expected that the mediation committee could meet at the beginning of next week at the earliest. The body, which consists of 16 representatives each from the Bundestag and Bundesrat, still has to be constituted. According to the rules of procedure, invitations to a meeting must be given at least five days in advance. However, informal preliminary talks would be possible beforehand in order to mark out compromise lines. Heil is aiming for an agreement by the end of next week so that the Federal Council can pass the compromise at its regular meeting on Friday next week. Only then would a timely payment of the increase in the standard rates in the basic security at the beginning of the year be ensured.

The citizen benefit is intended to replace the unemployment benefit II (Hartz IV) introduced in 2005. The reform is intended to make it easier for the unemployed to be placed in the labor market, including through more qualification and further training. The opportunities for additional earnings with lower deductions from citizen income are also being expanded. The monthly payments will be significantly increased: In the future, a single person will receive 502 euros and thus 53 euros more per month to cover living expenses.

The Union wants to support the increase in payments. Above all, she rejects the planned increase in the so-called protective assets. The needy do not have to touch these financial reserves if they want to receive citizen benefits. A single person, for example, can have up to 60,000 euros on the high edge for a waiting period of two years. The amount increases with the number of household members.

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