fMinister of Finance Christian Lindner (FDP) will take out more loans than planned and still remain within the framework of the debt rule. The goal stands – because it is mobile. The federal government had completely exhausted the framework before the summer break. The draft budget provided for new borrowing of 17.2 billion euros for the next year. Now it can even be 45 billion without Lindner having to make use of the emergency clause of the Basic Law again next year.
The wondrous suppleness has two reasons. For one, the debt rule is much more flexible than is known. In bad economic times, the state is allowed to take on more debt, in good times less. The economic situation is currently rather bad, and a recession is imminent. With the federal government’s autumn projection, the scope for debt is said to have grown to EUR 35.6 billion.
On the other hand, there are so-called financial transactions: if the federal government gives a loan, it has a right to repayment. This does not change his financial position, even if he needs a loan for the loan. Therefore, this is then hidden in the calculation of the permissible new borrowing.
10 billion euros for the share pension
Such loans (mainly to the International Monetary Fund, but also 1 billion euros to the health fund) already increased the debt framework by 7.3 billion euros in the government bill. Now the start-up financing for the stock pension is added: the 10 billion euros planned for this increase the permissible net borrowing to the 45 billion euros mentioned at the beginning.
Nothing has been officially decided yet. The Ministry of Finance’s submission alone, which contains all the changes compared to the summer plan, is more than 500 pages long. But that’s not all. There are further demands from the coalition that have not yet been decided politically. Minister of Labor Hubertus Heil (SPD), for example, wants to increase the item for labor market policy by 300 million euros. This Thursday, the members of the Bundestag Budget Committee will finally discuss the figures. Experience has shown that the clean-up session lasts deep into the night. The spokespersons for the factions will then present the result on Friday morning.
Costs for the gas price brake, hardship cases and Uniper
The economic plan for the Economic Stabilization Fund (WSF) shows that Lindner calculates expenditure of 40.3 billion euros for the gas price brake for 2023 and 43 billion euros for the electricity price brake. 6 billion euros are earmarked for hardship regulations for hospitals, 8.5 billion euros for the support of energy companies, and 15.2 billion euros for the federal participation in the ailing energy company Uniper. Last week Uniper reported a loss of 40 billion euros for the first nine months. A spokesman for the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Monday that the size of the loss was not surprising.
The 750,000 euros that are earmarked in the WSF as hardship aid for small and medium-sized companies should still cause discussions. Last week, the federal government had earmarked 2 billion euros for this, financed equally by the federal and state governments. The federal states had criticized this in the run-up to the Prime Ministers’ Conference. The state economics ministers should now make proposals by the beginning of December.