The family policy benefits at a glance


The traffic light coalition wants basic child security. The child benefit, child allowance, Hartz IV benefits for children and parts of the education and participation package are to be bundled in it.

(Photo: dpa)

Berlin “Jungle” and “thicket” – these terms are always used when talking about the federal government’s achievements in family policy. In recent decades, politicians have taken more and more measures to support families and reduce the risk of poverty among children – sometimes with uncertain benefit.

Most recently, the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs counted around 150 family-related benefits that cost taxpayers around 200 billion euros a year. The best-known services include:

  • child benefit: Since the basic care of children is to be ensured in this country, there is child benefit. It is currently at least 219 euros per month for each child. The payments went to around ten million recipients last year, for almost 17 million children. Cost point for the federal government in 2021: around 47.6 billion euros.
  • Child supplement: Parents whose income is sufficient for their own livelihood, but this is not sufficient or only just sufficient to cover the entire needs of the family are entitled to a supplement to the child benefit for their children. In 2021, state funds of 1.27 billion euros flowed for this purpose.
  • Child Bonus: As part of the corona aid, a child bonus of 150 euros was granted for each child entitled to child benefit for 2021. That hit the books with 2.62 billion euros. With the 2022 relief package, another child bonus of 100 euros per child has just been decided.
  • Child allowances: With the allowances for children, the subsistence level of children is made tax-free. During the annual income tax assessment, the tax office checks whether the allowances for children or the child benefit paid out are more favorable for the parents. In 2021, the additional relief from the allowances led to a reduction in tax revenue of 2.1 billion euros.
  • parental allowance: To make it easier to reconcile family and work, the parental allowance compensates for a lack of income if the parents look after their child after the birth. The amount of the payment depends on the average earned income in the year before the birth and is at least 300 euros and at most 1,800 euros per month. There are special variants for parents who share work and family work as partners: parental allowance plus and partnership bonus. Around 1.9 million women and men received parental allowance last year. Almost 7.5 billion euros in parental allowance were paid out for this.
  • Education and participation package: These payments are used to support children, young people and young adults from families who receive social benefits or who do not have enough money to independently finance a school trip or membership in a sports club, for example. For example, 156 euros per school year are made available for personal school needs. In 2020, expenses for the package fell to around 708 million euros due to the pandemic.

The traffic light coalition of SPD, Greens and FDP has agreed to create a basic child security. The child benefit, child allowance, Hartz IV benefits for children and parts of the education and participation package are to be bundled.

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The new federal family minister, Lisa Paus (Greens), explained in an interview with the Handelsblatt that child allowances should also be included in the considerations.

There is a guaranteed amount for all children and an additional amount that depends on the family’s income. The sum must be based on the child’s subsistence level. The Greens have already presented a concept. Here the guaranteed amount is 290 euros and the maximum amount is 547 euros per month.

Basic child security would not be cheap. The German Economic Institute (IW) has calculated the Green concept and has come up with 20 billion euros in additional costs per year for the federal budget.

More: Obstacle bureaucracy: What prevents schools from becoming more digital.

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