The planned citizen money will probably only come into force with significant changes. CDU and CSU stopped the on Monday labor market and social reform planned by the traffic light coalition initially in the Federal Council. Representatives from Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria demanded corrections to the draft law for the states with a government participation of the Union. This means that the planned introduction of citizen income on January 1 next year is also in question, because the job centers need a certain amount of time to adapt to the legal changes.
Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) had previously campaigned for support for his reform, but also emphasized a willingness to compromise. “If there is still no majority today, my hand is outstretched to solve it.” The federal government will call the mediation committee on Monday, Heil said in front of the state chamber. The body is made up of half representatives from the Bundestag and half from the federal states and is now supposed to negotiate an agreement. As the last regular date for the adoption of the draft law in Federal Council the session on November 25 applies.
The Baden-Württemberg Economics and Labor Minister, Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, called for changes to be made to several points in the reform. She criticized the planned trust period of six months, during which people receiving citizenship benefit only face weakened sanctions if they repeatedly miss appointments at the job center. Instead, the CDU politician called for “commitment and clear boundaries”, i.e. a sharper approach to rule violations.
Only help for those who really need it
Hoffmeister-Kraut also rejected the planned increase in the so-called protective assets during the waiting period, i.e. the assets that recipients of citizen income do not have to use to make a living for two years if they receive state aid. Hoffmeister-Kraut argued that only those who really need help should be helped. At the same time, the minister signaled a willingness to compromise, saying that one had to ask oneself “how we can shape the citizen’s income together”.
The Bundestag had approved the citizen money, which is to replace the Hartz IV system, last week with the majority of the traffic light parties. The blockade in the special session of the Federal Council comes as no surprise: Traffic light and Union parties have been arguing about the planned citizens’ allowance for some time.
The Union criticizes that the new citizen’s income reduces the recipients’ motivation to work. CDU General Secretary Mario Czaja accused the traffic light coalition in ZDF morning magazine proposes to give up the concept of promoting and demanding with citizen money.
Labor Minister Heil, on the other hand, said in the Bundesrat that working would continue to be worthwhile with citizen income, and the sanctions would not be abolished either. The present draft law has already adopted changes requested by the federal states. More precautions against abuse of performance were taken. The heating costs in the first two years are only covered if they are reasonable, and the job centers have already been given more time to implement them. Significant parts of the reform are not expected to take effect until July 1, 2023. “If everyone involved has good will,” a compromise with the federal states will succeed.