Agreement on citizen income: points for the Union, but a system change


Status: 11/22/2022 6:18 p.m

The changes in citizen income mean a point victory for the Union – and once again reveal the weakness of the traffic light, says Uwe Jahn. Nevertheless, citizen money brings about a system change, even if the Union denies this.

A comment by Uwe Jahn, ARD capital studio

The agreement on citizen income is a victory on points for the Union. Because everything that the CDU and CSU have complained about citizen money has now been changed.

Point one: the trust time. Originally thought of as the first six months of the traffic light, in which the main focus should be on building trust, it will be dropped without replacement. The Union wanted the job centers to be able to cut more benefits from the start in order to hit those who refuse. She made it happen.

Point two: the protective ability. Originally set at 60,000 euros, it is now only 40,000 euros. The higher the sum, the greater the lack of understanding, especially among those who have little. This is another reason why the Union was able to assert itself on this point.

Point three: the grace period. The protective assets were originally intended to remain untouched for two years. This period has now been reduced to one year. The Union has prevailed with the shortening. The traffic light can say: After all, there is a one-year waiting period. But that doesn’t hide the fact: All in all, the Union won on points.

Once again the traffic light shows weakness

How did this happen? One factor is time pressure: if the traffic light had delivered earlier, they could have avoided this own goal. The second factor is the weakness of the traffic light. Because the FDP has made it clear that it shares the Union’s criticism of citizen money. Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil had a bad hand.

However, there is also a total of a point deduction for parliamentary group leader Friedrich Merz, regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt and Co.: The wide-leggedness with which they announced that the system change is not taking place now, that Hartz IV has now only gotten an upgrade, that looks pretty self-absorbed and success drunk.

To make matters worse, the Union has embarrassed the mediation committee with its advances and blabbering. Its agreement on Wednesday evening now only seems like a formality. This damages the reputation of democratic institutions.

Ampel has achieved essentials

Let’s take a look at the points account of the traffic light: There is still a waiting period, even if it is only valid for one year. There is the increase in the additional income limits for younger and older people who live in communities of need. There are incentives for everyone who does an apprenticeship – in short: that further education and training have priority.

The reform as a whole is smaller than planned, but it will result in a system change – even if the Union denies it. That is probably part of the game on the political stage. And that’s what Merz and his people have mastered. This is one of the reasons why they have won a point victory in the citizen money.

Editorial note

Comments always reflect the opinion of the respective author and not that of the editors.

Comment on citizen money: point victory for the Union

Uwe Jahn, ARD Berlin, 22.11.2022 5:48 p.m

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