Berlin Before the vote in the Bundesrat on citizen income, the SPD called on the countries to agree. “The prime ministers now face a choice: either they accept their state-political responsibility and ensure that many people have security, new opportunities and prospects. Or they continue the course of the last few weeks and play the weakest in our society against each other,” said the deputy SPDGroup leader and expert for the group responsible for the topic, Dagmar Schmidt, of the German Press Agency.
With the citizens’ income and the change to “stronger funding, extensive qualification and further training offers” one wants to counteract the shortage of skilled workers. “I’m afraid that Friedrich Merz and the Union have lost their arguments,” said Schmidt. The SPD politician is also a member of the mediation committee of the Bundestag and Bundesrat, which will most likely be called upon to find a compromise if the citizen’s allowance is rejected in the state chamber.
One day before the Federal Council deliberations on the new citizens’ income had, among other things Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder has reiterated his fundamental reservations about the reform of basic security. “The citizen money is socially unjust and unfair,” said the CSU-Head of “Bild am Sonntag”. “The traffic light must be fundamentally improved: with sanctions, with protective assets, with the performance principle. Consent can only be given under these conditions.”
The unemployment benefit II (Hartz-IV) introduced in 2005 is to be be replaced. The Federal Council must agree to this at its special session on Monday. The federal government is preparing for a mediation process.
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The reform aims to place the unemployed in the labour market facilitate, among other things through more qualification and further training. The opportunities for additional earnings with lower deductions from citizen income are also being expanded. Above all, the Union rejects the increase in protective assets. The needy do not have to touch these financial reserves if they want to receive citizen benefits.
Ramelow: “Union is not about factual solutions”
Thuringia’s Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow is therefore sharply critical of the CDU and CSU. “Because the Union was unable to assert itself as the opposition in the German Bundestag, all recipients of the citizen’s allowance are now to be taken hostage. It’s hard to bear as a human being,” said the left-wing politician of the German Press Agency. The Union is not concerned with factual solutions on this issue, but with party-political ego.
Linke co-boss Janine Wissler spoke of “social coldness”. The Union first refused to raise the minimum wage and is now preventing minimal improvements for people with social needs.
The goal of CDU and CSU consisted in “grinding the citizens’ allowance law in the mediation committee,” according to a joint paper by Ramelow, Wissler, their co-chairman Martin Schirdewan and the parliamentary group and state politicians with left-wing government participation, which the dpa has seen.
The left is critical of the citizen money project itself. In contrast to the Union, you don’t go far enough. “The citizen money is not an overcoming of Hartz IV, but a sham. The increase hardly compensates for the rising inflation, which is completely insufficient,” said Wissler. According to the paper, her party wants to campaign for changes in her interest in a mediation process and “oppose the deterioration of the Citizens’ Income Act by the CDU and CSU”.
The co-chair of the Greens parliamentary group, Britta Haßelmann, warned of a blockade before the vote on citizen income in the Bundesrat. She appeals to all actors to accompany this important social reform in a constructive and critical manner, said Hasselmann of the German Press Agency. “A blockade of the citizens’ income would have drastic consequences for the people affected and is irresponsible in view of the responsibility for the social and cultural participation of all in times of a shortage of skilled workers and the economic crisis.”
Malu Dreyer: “I wish that party tactics would be put aside”
“Blockade for the sake of the blockade, as demonstrated by individual Union politicians in recent weeks, is neither constructive nor responsible politics in the midst of this crisis.” above all find permanent work” and also ensure the reduction of bureaucracy.
The Union wants to support the increase in payments. Above all, she rejects the planned increase in the so-called protective assets. The Federal Employment Agency has warned that the payment of the increase at the beginning of the year is not guaranteed if it is not clear by the end of November.
The Prime Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate, Malu Dreyer, also warned of this. “If the law is blocked by the Union on Monday, it will go to the mediation committee,” said the SPD politician to the “Rheinische Post”. “I hope that party tactics will then be put aside in the negotiations and that a solution will be found that could bring relief for many people in a difficult time from January. We need clarity before the Federal Council meeting on November 25 so that the employment agency can prepare everything to pay out the citizen’s allowance from January.”
FDPGeneral Secretary Bijan Djir-Sarai told the newspapers of the Neue Berliner Redaktionsgesellschaft that a blockade and propaganda against people in need made a factual debate impossible. Contrary to what Union politicians claim, there is no softening of the principle of “support and demand”. Adjusting the opportunities for additional income and better opportunities for further training could allow more people to return from unemployment to the labor market in the long term