quarrel about the household
Chancellery, Ministry of Finance and Co.: The federal government is planning 2.1 billion euros for its own construction projects
The traffic light coalition could spend 2.1 billion euros on its own construction projects, including the much-criticized Chancellery. At the same time, Finance Minister Christian Lindner wants to make savings in the new budget.
Chancellery, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of the Environment, Visitor Center of the Bundestag plus other buildings: The federal government has a whole series of expensive new construction projects in the planning stage, which, according to research by the news portal t-online, together cost at least 2.1 billion euros. A spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Finance told the portal that the need had to be re-examined because more mobile and home work had been done since the corona pandemic. Therefore, “all spatial planning from the time before the pandemic should also be reviewed in a meaningful way”.
The CSU agreed. “It’s not the time for ostentatious prestige traffic lights,” explained General Secretary Martin Huber. “While many people don’t know how to fill their refrigerators at the end of the month, the insatiable traffic light debt squanders billions on unnecessary swanky projects.”
The extension of the Chancellery was planned in 2016 under the then Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU). However, the costs have risen in recent years from 485 million euros to 600 million, and now to 777 million euros. Today, the Union speaks out against the construction.
The federal government is to plan five construction projects next to the Chancellery
The budgetary spokeswoman for the left in the Bundestag, Gesine Lötzsch, pointed out that a large part of the civil servants are already working from home. “This development must lead to a reduction in office space,” she told t-online. A moratorium on further federal buildings is therefore necessary. The federal government is also hiring more and more staff. “It can’t go on like this. We need a personnel cover.”
The projects in detail:
- Next to the Federal Chancellery, an arc-shaped new building made of sandstone with around 400 offices is to be built for around 777 million euros. Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) recently questioned this project, for which initial work has already begun.
- Lindner also does not want to stick to the plans for an extension of his own Ministry of Finance on Wilhelmstrasse and rather have “affordable apartments” built there. It should cost between 600 and 800 million euros and be built from 2025.
- As t-online reports, citing the 2023 federal budget, there are also 113 million euros for an office building on the Spree. The Federal President and his staff are to move in there for around five years, while Bellevue Palace is being completely renovated. It is unclear who will then move in there.
- An extension of the Ministry of the Environment is to be built for around 240 million euros. Employees of the Berlin House of Representatives and “users who have not yet been determined” should also be accommodated there, as reported by t-online.
- According to the Federal Agency for Real Estate Tasks, the southern part of the so-called postal block is also to be developed on Wilhelmstrasse. According to the tender, a ministerial building is planned there for 200 million euros. According to the Federal Institute, a further 980 jobs are to be created here. “A final user has not yet been determined,” the news portal quoted the authority as saying.
- In addition, the costs for the new visitor center of the Bundestag are increasing. According to media reports, they are now estimated at 200 million euros.
Lindner wants to check expenditure in the federal budget
At the same time, Finance Minister Lindner wants to examine all federal spending for savings potential in the ongoing budget dispute in the coalition. “We will advise each individual expenditure in the federal budget on its justification and amount,” he told the “Rheinische Post” on Saturday. There is a financial gap that must be filled “by renunciation”. The left faction accused Lindner of setting the wrong priorities.
“As of now, we will have a deficit of 14 to 18 billion euros in the coming year with revenues of 424 billion euros,” the minister predicted. “This budget gap must be generated through renunciation.” If at the same time “additional spending priorities” should be set, for example in the areas of defense or education, “then you have to make even more cuts elsewhere”.
The coalition has been arguing about next year’s budget for weeks. Lindner had canceled the usual adoption of budget key points in mid-March; it is now assumed that it will fail altogether. Instead, a detailed budget is to be adopted in June.