The FDP contradicts the family minister in terms of basic child security

The FDP contradicts the family minister in terms of basic child security

IIn the financial dispute over basic child security, the Federal Ministry of Finance countered Christian Lindner’s (FDP) demand for EUR 12 billion from the Federal Minister for Family Affairs Lisa Paus (Greens) with their own calculations. “The financial basis for basic child security has already been laid,” is the result of an internal calculation by the Ministry of Finance, which is available to the FAZ.

Families would already get around 7 billion euros more a year. The traffic light coalition is already providing most of the 12 billion euros that Paus is demanding in the budget dispute over basic child security.

In the Federal Ministry of Finance Among other things, reference is made to the increase in child benefit. On January 1st, it was raised to 250 euros per month for each child. Child allowances have also been increased. Both will add up to around 5.28 billion euros for the current year. In addition, there would be additional millions in the three-digit range for various other family policy benefits.

Automated Approval

The ministry refers to the increase in the child allowance for parents who work but cannot cover the subsistence level of their children, the immediate allowance for children affected by poverty introduced in summer 2022 and the increased standard rates for children whose families receive citizen income. “When Family Minister Paus claims that further work on basic child security is blocked due to a lack of money, that is obviously wrong,” said FDP family politician Martin Gassner-Herz of the FAZ

Basic child security is one of the socio-political core projects of the traffic light. Central family policy benefits such as child benefit, benefits for children from the basic income and the child allowance for low-income families are to be bundled and made easier for eligible families to access with the help of a digital application process.

necessity versus affordability

There is a heated debate about the need for, and the ability to finance, further expansion of family policy benefits. “For the Federal Ministry of Finance, the unbureaucratic and low-threshold redesign of family policy services is the focus of work – and not the increase in the budget of the Ministry of Family Affairs,” says the Lindners at home about Paus’ demands.

“Twelve billion euros are at the lower end of what would be needed to significantly reduce child poverty in Germany,” the minister confirmed to the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung” at the weekend.

To partially finance the project, the child allowances in income tax could be reduced, the minister suggested: “It is absurd that wealthy families are relieved much more by the child allowances than poorer families who only receive child benefit.” It was not mentioned that the higher child allowances are due to the fact that parents with higher incomes also pay more taxes.

Close the gap with less bureaucracy

If you follow the Ministry of Finance and count the 7 billion euros in family policy benefits from the traffic light coalition against the 12 billion euros demanded by Paus, there remains a gap of 5 billion euros. According to the FDP.

It is important to take Minister Paus at her word: “According to her own statements, there would be a further 5 billion euros in costs if the previous entitlements to benefits were all called up. She now has the decisive lever for the breakthrough in her hands,” says Gassner-Herz.

According to the Minister for Family Affairs, one application should be enough so that the basic child security benefits are paid out as automatically as possible. Currently, only about a third of those entitled apply for the child allowance and the educational and participation benefits to which their children are entitled. If, on the other hand, the benefits were actually called up with the introduction of basic child security, according to Gassner-Herz, then the money would have to be available, since these are legal claims.

The Ministry of Finance has put the costs for the automated approval of the bundled benefits in the basic child security system at 2 to 3 billion euros. The Family Ministry itself has not yet presented a detailed calculation.

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