When mini-job is more lucrative than full-time work

NAfter the Bundesrat’s no to the citizen money of the traffic light coalition begins the search for possible compromise lines. The FDP is now focusing on a point from the reform package that has so far hardly been mentioned in the dispute over the objections of the Union parties: the easing of the so-called additional income rules. It is intended to make it more worthwhile for recipients of basic security to work their way out of receiving social benefits – in that the wages they earn themselves are no longer counted as strictly against social benefits as before.

Similar to the party leader before Christian Lindner Jens Teutrine, citizen money expert of the FDP parliamentary group, also campaigned on Monday for a further improvement of these regulations in the mediation process. The Union’s criticism is aimed in particular at the fact that the previous draft law would loosen the sanctions against uncooperative benefit recipients too much; in addition, access to basic income is made much easier, even for wealthy households. At its core, however, this criticism also boils down to the message that work must pay more.

The fact that the previous additional income rules do not make starting work attractive is already evident from the law: anyone who earns something as a recipient of basic security may only keep the first 100 euros monthly wage without being offset; above this, the social benefit is reduced by 80 cents for every euro earned. In economic terms, that’s a transfer withdrawal of 80 percent. From a wage of 1,000 euros onwards, it increases to 90 percent, and from 1,200 euros onwards, one’s own wages are offset against the social benefit in full until it has completely disappeared.

With the traffic light bill, the FDP two changes have already been made: young people from citizen income households who earn some extra money with vacation or mini-jobs should be allowed to keep this money in full in the future; so far it has been added to household income – and then triggers a cut for the whole family. The second change starts directly with the withdrawal of transfers: in the range from 520 euros (the new mini-job limit) to 1000 euros, only 70 instead of 80 percent would be credited to the citizen’s income.

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