After the presentation of a compromise in the dispute over citizen income, Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) rejected criticism of the social reform by the opposition. "Especially when it comes to wealth, I advise against entering a shabby competition," said the FDP chairman of the "Welt am Sonntag".
According to Lindner, if people slip into the cover because of a stroke of fate, they shouldn't have to eat what they might have built up over decades. The protective assets include certain allowances for assets that, according to social law, do not have to be used to make a living.
The traffic light had previously agreed on changes to citizen income. Corresponding plans were announced on Friday. The SPD, Greens and FDP were also responding to opposition criticism of the project. The Union had threatened a blockade in the Bundesrat. However, the CDU member of the Bundestag Gitta Connemann was also dissatisfied with the new version. She spoke of cosmetic changes.
Less pressure planned
According to the federal government's plans, the citizen's income is to replace the previous Hartz IV basic security on January 1st. The aim is to put those affected in a position to be able to concentrate more on further training and looking for work. They should be put under less pressure by the job center. The standard rates of basic security should also increase by around 50 euros per month. Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) described the reform as "one of the largest social reforms in 20 years".
What is also new is that in future, in addition to declaring that they have no significant assets, recipients of benefits will also have to enclose a self-assessment. This is also to prevent misuse of services.
According to dpa information, the compromise proposal is to be approved by the parliamentary groups on Tuesday. Next Thursday, the Bundestag wants to deal with the reform in the second and third reading.
Opposition sticks to criticism
The opposition's reservations were not allayed even after the changed plans became known. The head of the SME and Economic Union, the CDU MP Connemann, told the dpa: "Our criticism remains: the citizen money is a departure from the principle of funding and demanding." The promised adjustments did not change the substance of the citizens' income. The new traffic light draft provides for stricter rules for recipients of citizen income. But: "These are not serious changes - these are cosmetic," says Connemann. "There are still no serious incentives to go back to work. Money should still be paid, even if there is no willingness to perform."
Finance Minister Lindner, on the other hand, emphasized in the "Welt am Sonntag": "The basic income rewards additional income and qualifications, refusal to participate is sanctioned. The basic income does not replace Hartz IV with nonchalance, but with a more performance principle."
Heil told the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung" that the traffic light reacted quickly to the Bundesrat's demands and would make numerous changes in the Bundestag. "The reimbursement of heating costs, for example, is checked for adequacy so that no false incentives are set. And the job centers have more opportunities to take action against abuse of benefits." This means that the traffic light meets the demands of the Union.