Hartz IV successor: "The reform has the potential to improve people's lives": This is how the press assesses citizen income

The federal cabinet has given the go-ahead for the introduction of citizen income in Germany.

Hartz IV successor: "The reform has the potential to improve people's lives": This is how the press assesses citizen income

The federal cabinet has given the go-ahead for the introduction of citizen income in Germany. It is to replace the current Hartz IV system on January 1st. The draft law by Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) provides, among other things, for a significant increase in standard rates. Single adults should receive 502 euros a month instead of 449 in the future. The previous sanctions will be relaxed. Anyone who repeatedly misses an appointment at the job center can be subject to a ten percent reduction in benefits from the outset. After the six-month "trust period" has expired, additional higher deductions are possible for so-called breaches of duty - such as refusing a reasonable job: 20 percent for the first violation and 30 percent for the second.

At the same time, the possibilities for earning additional income are expanded compared to Hartz IV. Additional benefits such as a "further education allowance" are also intended to create extra incentives to seek employment. Whether the apartment of a beneficiary is appropriate will in future only be checked after two years. The same applies to assets up to a certain upper limit.

"Märkische Oderzeitung" (Frankfurt/Oder): "Hartz IV was always better than its reputation, which is why the new citizen's allowance can't really be bad. Hartz IV owes its bad reputation to two things in particular. On the one hand, unemployment benefit I initially only paid for one year (now up to two years). The working middle class was faced with a very rapid decline, which triggered widespread fears. Secondly, the standard rate was calculated too low from the start. The new citizen's allowance changes both In principle, nothing. It remains to be seen whether the reputation will improve with the changed name."

"Weser-Kurier" (Bremen): "How poor are you with around 110 euros a week if the state pays for housing and heating? In an unemployed family with two teenagers, that's what's left - per capita for food, clothing, other things. Certainly not sheer misery, but so little that you want to improve. Since the new citizen's allowance offers more help and incentives than Hartz IV, it's also fair. Even more money and even less control would be an unconditional basic income, which you then would have to call it that."

"Pforzheimer Zeitung": "The federal government's draft law on citizen income contains a lot of good things, but unfortunately also a lot of bad things. The good elements can certainly help to combat long-term unemployment more effectively. The bad elements, however, counteract this in part, causing social imbalance and burden the national economy as a whole. Combined with the increase in the monthly standard rate by almost twelve percent to over 500 euros, there is an imbalance to the disadvantage of those who work at the lower end of the wage scale. Those affected - especially those with families - will think twice before whether regular work is still worthwhile for them."

"Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung": "Bürgergeld instead of Hartz IV: This is an opportunity to reduce the stigmatization of those affected, but also to reduce fears of social decline in the middle of society. At the same time, obligations to cooperate and sanctions are by no means abolished. That's right, because it "It's about taxpayers' money. Minister Heil's reform has the potential to improve people's lives. It doesn't mean that Agenda 2010 will be buried, but it will be decisively developed after 20 years."

"Stuttgarter Zeitung": "One thing, on the other hand, is certain today: the recipients receive more money from the citizens' allowance than from Hartz IV. But that has nothing to do with the fact that the traffic light violated the balance between those who receive state aid and those who receive work with their hands. Even if there were no citizen's allowance, the Hartz IV payments would have had to increase - because otherwise millions of people would not have received inflation compensation."

"Leipziger Volkszeitung": "If the development in the coming year is worse than forecast, further aid could be necessary - not only for recipients of citizenship benefit. It is morally questionable in the debate about relief for the long-term unemployed and those who go to work for little money , to play off against each other. Both need support - even if that means higher burdens for people with high incomes in the end."

"Augsburger Allgemeine": "Yes, the Hartz laws were not perfect. Yes, they also produced injustices and cost the SPD a lot of sympathy, which lost supporters and members to the Left Party. The reforms were necessary nonetheless. Where a state had a lot promotes and demands little, it only cements the existing conditions and almost inevitably also creates incentives for abuse."

"Allgemeine Zeitung" (Mainz): "There are good reasons to reverse the formula of demanding and supporting and to prioritize supporting when it comes to citizens' allowances. To forego demands - i.e. sanctions if the clients do not play along - but it is a mistake. Because recipients of transfer payments are no longer required to do what every employee must recognize and comply with: the binding nature of appointments, of agreements, of obligations. Such unworldliness may not harm the Greens. But the SPD alienates its core clientele more with this policy than with the so hated Hartz IV."

"Rhein-Zeitung" (Koblenz): "The elements that contribute to overstretching the solidarity of taxpayers are counterproductive. The traffic light government wants to refrain from sanctions in the first six months if recipients do not comply with the rules. The strong increase in the protective assets in In the first two reference years, the group of recipients will expand, which will drive up the costs. The suitability of the apartment will also no longer be checked during this time. In addition to the rent, the state will also assume the complete, sharply increased heating costs anyway. Linked to the increase in the The monthly standard rate by almost 12 percent to more than 500 euros results in an imbalance to the disadvantage of those who work regularly at the lower end of the wage scale. Those affected - especially those with families - will carefully consider whether regular work is still worthwhile for them."

"Mitteldeutsche Zeitung" (Halle): "Support and demand - that was the guiding principle with which the red-green federal government introduced Hartz IV at the time. Only that funding was neglected. That should now change fundamentally. Citizens' allowance instead of Hartz IV: This is an opportunity to reduce the stigmatization of those affected, but also to reduce fears of social decline in mainstream society. It's worth trying."

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