Federal government: Traffic light struggles with budget for 2024 – Habeck cancels trip

Federal Government
Traffic light struggles with budget for 2024 – Habeck cancels trip

“I am very optimistic that we are well on the way to reaching an agreement,” says Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck. photo

© Michael Kappeler/dpa

Negotiations for the 2024 federal budget are in full swing in the traffic light coalition. Vice Chancellor Habeck cancels a trip. Social associations warn against cuts for the most vulnerable.

The traffic light coalition is struggling for a federal budget for 2024. Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck (Greens) therefore canceled a planned trip to the World Climate Conference in Dubai and the neighboring region, as the ministry announced on Sunday evening.

SPD General Secretary Kevin Kühnert said on the ZDF program “Berlin Direkt”: “Every free minute among the members of the government will be used to draw up a draft budget for 2024 in accordance with the provisions of the Constitutional Court ruling from Karlsruhe.”

Habeck sees progress in the difficult negotiations in the coalition. “I am very optimistic that we are well on the way to reaching an agreement,” he said on Sunday evening on the ARD program “Anne Will”. When asked that this did not mean that he was sure that the coalition would come to an agreement, Habeck said: “I can’t speak for everyone. But I repeat that I believe that we are making good progress.” The Vice Chancellor continued: “It is a process that is arduous, that is clear, but which brings progress.”

Traffic lights under pressure to unify

If the 2024 federal budget is to be passed this year, the SPD, FDP and Greens must soon agree on the next course. The negotiations are currently taking place primarily in a three-way round with Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), Vice Chancellor Habeck and Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP). The Federal Constitutional Court’s budget ruling has left billions in gaps in both the 2024 budget and a fund for modernizing the economy and climate protection. Possible savings are controversial, especially in social spending – this is primarily demanded by the FDP.

This also concerns the planned increase in citizens’ money by an average of 12 percent on January 1, 2024. Lindner had pointed out that the inflation rate was developing significantly better than predicted when the standard rate was set for 2024. FDP General Secretary Bijan Djir-Sarai told “Bild am Sonntag” that it was urgently necessary to reassess citizens’ money. The SPD rejects this. According to the “Bild” newspaper, a spokesman for Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) announced that there were “no corresponding plans not to make the legally required adjustment to the standard rate on January 1, 2024.”

Social associations against savings

The president of the social association VdK, Verena Bentele, warned against a withdrawal of the planned increase in citizens’ benefit. “Citizen’s money is not a social hammock. Just as the retroactive and overdue increase is not a bonus for laziness,” she told the newspapers of the Funke media group. Food prices remain high, even if inflation is declining somewhat.

Bentele pointed out that many people no longer know how to pay their bills and stay fed. “Anyone who claims that recipients are happy about receiving social benefits is in the wrong film.” The adjustment is an important first step, she said of the planned increase.

The President of the German Caritas Association, Maria Welskop-Deffaa, also sharply criticized calls for cuts in the social sector. “To save mainly on social expenses after the Karlsruhe ruling would be fatal,” she told the editorial network Germany (RND).

dpa

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