Budget: DGB boss warns against austerity measures for social benefits

DGB chairwoman Yasmin Fahimi has warned against making savings on social benefits in order to plug financial holes in the federal budget.

Budget: DGB boss warns against austerity measures for social benefits

DGB chairwoman Yasmin Fahimi has warned against making savings on social benefits in order to plug financial holes in the federal budget. The debate about social spending must be turned “downside down,” Fahimi told the “Bild” newspaper. "Social spending in Germany is neither particularly high in international nor historical comparison - and has not grown much recently," the head of the German Trade Union Confederation made clear. She warned against “provoking further social upheaval through savings debates in times of upheaval.”

Instead, we need to “address the debt brake,” said Fahimi. It is absolutely clear that supporting Ukraine and refugees “represents an emergency.” Declaring such an emergency would have already belonged in the 2024 budget, “and also belongs in the 2025 budget.” The debt brake anchored in the Basic Law only provides for a very limited net borrowing. However, it can be suspended in the event of natural disasters or other exceptional emergencies. This was the case, for example, during the corona pandemic. The debt brake should be adhered to again in 2024.

Due to tight budgets, Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) suggested a multi-year moratorium on social spending and subsidies a few days ago in order to be able to invest more money in defense. The SPD and the Greens reject this. However, there is discussion about reforming the debt brake in order to be able to invest more.

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