The federal government has agreed on details regarding basic child security that are still open. The German Press Agency learned this from government circles on Friday after the “Rheinische Post” first reported. It was said that nothing now stands in the way of the cabinet dealing with the issue. The Ministry of Family Affairs has implemented the advice from other departments and the Federal Employment Agency on the relevant points.
The traffic light coalition wants to bundle previous benefits such as child benefit, benefits from citizen's benefit for children and the child allowance in basic child welfare. Through greater clarity and with the help of a central platform, many families will be reached who have previously not been able to access the money they are entitled to due to lack of knowledge or bureaucratic hurdles.
Dispute between the Greens and the FDP
The basic child welfare provision, which is particularly controversial between the Greens and the FDP, was actually supposed to be launched in the federal cabinet a week and a half ago. At least Family Minister Lisa Paus (Greens) expressed this expectation. However, the project did not end up on the agenda. Family Ministry circles said at the time that there was still a problem with the so-called child benefit transfer and the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act - i.e. questions about who receives benefits and how these are offset against the basic child benefit or not.
The “Rheinische Post” and other media now reported that the agreement stipulates that an immediate surcharge of 20 euros per child introduced during the corona pandemic will no longer apply to children of asylum seekers from 2025. “The SPD and the Greens want to permanently pay asylum seekers 20 euros more per child per month. I don’t support that,” said Federal Finance Minister and FDP leader Christian Lindner. “The standard rates are appropriate and we should not send the wrong signals, especially with the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act,” he added.
Paus and Lindner had previously struggled for months about financing basic child welfare. At the end of August, both finally agreed on details for financing the project. In the year of introduction in 2025, the traffic light is now estimated to initially cost around 2.4 billion euros in additional costs. Government circles had also said that if the use of basic child welfare benefits increased, the costs could rise to up to six billion euros in the following years.
The rapporteur for the FDP parliamentary group, Martin Gassner-Herz, expressed satisfaction with the agreement that has now been announced. “We have dispelled the simple idea that more money would solve the complex issue of child poverty,” he explains. “For more opportunities, we have currently achieved what was important to us with the starting opportunities program for schools in socially disadvantaged areas and in the future with the children’s opportunities portal.” With the so-called StartChances program, 4,000 schools in difficult situations are to receive special government funding worth billions in the coming years.