Fact check: Families with or without work: who has more money?

fact check
Families with or without work: who has more money?

Who gets how much? photo

© Monika Skolimowska/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa

Is work still worth it? CDU politician Jens Spahn recently equated recipients of citizen income and average earners. But what about families of four?

The planned citizen income increase has CDU economic politicians Jens Spahn recently called the “wrong signal”. According to him, a family of four that receives basic income should currently have just as much money available as a family with average earners.

Claim: “According to the current legal situation, a family of four receives an average of 2311 euros in citizen money. This means that they actually have as much available as an average earner family in Germany,” said Spahn in the “Bild” newspaper.

Rating: Partly wrong.

Facts: The number mentioned by Spahn can actually be found in a table from the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (as of January 1, 2023). There, exemplary calculations are presented for the introduction of citizen’s income this year. In one of the scenarios, there is talk of a “(married) couple” who have two children aged 4 and 12 – and receive 2311 euros (including child benefit).

According to the table, the four people currently receive a total of 1568 euros in citizen money. In addition, there are 743 euros for ongoing and one-off accommodation costs. Added up are exactly the 2311 euros that Spahn spoke of.

But what about average earners? On average (as of 2021) a couple with at least one child in Germany has a gross income from employment of 5809 euros. This emerges from the economic calculations published in 2022 by the Federal Statistical Office.

If both employees are married and earn about the same, the couple would earn around 4,000 euros net if both are in tax class IV. In addition, the family receives monthly child benefit of 500 euros for two children.

For housing and energy, the Federal Statistical Office for couples with one child and more gives 1226 euros per month. After deducting these costs, the family of four was left with more than 3,000 euros.

Of course, the situation is different for low-income earners. Scenario: a family of four with the sole breadwinner who only gets the minimum wage of currently 12 euros per hour. At first glance, such a family does not seem to have any financial advantage compared to recipients of citizen income. However, people with low incomes and especially families can receive various government grants of several hundred euros each. These include housing benefit or child allowance.

All information on the dpa fact checks Contact page for the dpa fact check team


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