An the face of the threat of a blockade of citizens’ income in the Bundesrat, representatives of the traffic light coalition have sharply criticized the Union. Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) warned the CDU and CSU on Saturday of a “shabby competition”. SPD leader Lars Klingbeil accused the Union of trying to play off economically weak groups against each other. In addition, the CDU and CSU would spread false figures on the effect of the planned reform of the Hartz IV system.
According to government plans, citizen income is to replace Hartz IV on January 1st. A blockade by the Union in the Bundesrat could delay the start and thus the planned increase in standard rates by a good 50 euros at the beginning of the year.
Politicians from the CDU and CSU criticize the fact that citizen money can also be drawn in the first 24 months if those affected have high reserves. A limit of 60,000 euros for the actual benefit recipient and 30,000 euros for each additional household member should apply here. In addition, Union representatives argue that the extensive waiver of sanctions against recipients reduces the incentive to take up work.
“If people slipped into the relationship due to a stroke of fate, they shouldn’t have to eat what they might have built up over decades,” said Lindner about the protective assets. Citizens’ income rewards additional income and qualifications, while refusal to participate is sanctioned. “The citizen’s income does not replace Hartz IV with nonchalance, but with a more performance-oriented principle.”
The goal of the Union is to “split society,” said Klingbeil at an SPD event in Berlin. “Those who earn little are being played off against those who are currently dependent on the state”
Klingbeil criticized information from the Union as a misrepresentation that those receiving citizen benefits would have more money available in the future compared to employees with low incomes. “We are currently experiencing a CDU/CSU (…) lying under Markus Söder and Friedrich Merz with the aim of dividing society,” said Klingbeil at a debate convention of the Social Democrats. The Union is taking the “path of Donald Trump, the spread of fake news”.
The traffic light factions had tried on Friday to approach the Union to get approval in the Bundesrat. One of the amendments they created stipulates that in the first two years of receiving citizens’ income, attention should now be paid to the appropriateness of the heating costs. So far there have been no restrictions here. In addition, the appropriateness of relocations should also be checked.
So far, there has been no reaction from the Union. Federal Minister of Labor Hubertus Heil (SPD) told the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday newspaper”: “My hand is stretched out to the CDU prime minister.” The “traffic light” reacted quickly to the demands of the Federal Council. There will be numerous changes before the Bundestag vote next week, “which also correspond to the wishes of the federal states”. This would give the job center “stronger opportunities to take action against abuse of benefits”.