According to media reports, the traffic light coalition is not allowed to spend any more money for the time being. The Federal Ministry of Finance has therefore extended its budget freeze to all ministries in response to a ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court.
According to media reports, the Federal Ministry of Finance has extended the budget freeze imposed on the Climate and Transformation Fund to almost the entire federal budget. This emerges from a letter from Budget State Secretary Werner Gatzer, which the Reuters news agency quoted.
“The BMF is stopping the commitment authorizations in 2023 in order to avoid prior burdens for future years,” the German Press Agency also quoted sources from the ministry. The step affects the budgets of all ministries.
A commitment authorization gives an administration the opportunity to enter into payment obligations for future years, for example for multi-year projects. Current editions this year are therefore not affected. It also said that existing liabilities would continue to be met, but that no new ones would be allowed to be entered into. “In exceptional cases, commitment authorizations can be unblocked.”
Today hearing in Budget Committee
The traffic light coalition has been struggling for days about how to deal with the ruling from Karlsruhe. The SPD reiterates its calls for the debt brake to be suspended in order to plug the 60 billion euro financial hole. Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) is also not a supporter of the debt brake, but does not see a majority in favor of changes.
Last week, the Federal Constitutional Court declared a reallocation of loans worth 60 billion euros in the 2021 budget to be null and void. They were approved to deal with the Corona crisis, but should be used for climate protection and the modernization of the economy. Now the billions in the so-called climate and transformation fund are not available.
The federal government had then temporarily put certain projects on hold that were to be financed from the fund. This was about commitment authorizations for 2024 and subsequent years.
This Tuesday, experts are supposed to help the Bundestag and the federal government correctly interpret the consequences of the Karlsruhe budget ruling. The Budget Committee listens to experts appointed by the various political groups. The main issue is whether the budget for 2024 can be decided despite the ruling.
Bartsch demands “Climate wealth tax”
Left-wing faction leader Dietmar Bartsch called for a “climate wealth tax” in view of the traffic light coalition’s financial concerns. “After the ruling from Karlsruhe, there should be no social cuts to plug the 60 billion hole,” Bartsch told the Germany editorial network.
Not the “little people”, but multimillionaires and billionaires should be brought in to modernize Germany.
Last week, the Federal Constitutional Court declared a reallocation of loans worth 60 billion euros in the 2021 budget to be null and void. They were approved to deal with the Corona crisis, but should be used for climate protection and the modernization of the economy. Now the billions are not available. The FDP then brought up cuts in social benefits.
Martin Polansky, ARD Berlin, tagesschau, November 21, 2023 6:09 a.m