Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck considers the debt brake in its current form to be no longer up to date. It was built “in a different time”: “When we always had cheap gas from Russia, when China was always our workbench or our purchase market, when the Americans were always reliable, loyal friends and relieved us of the military burden because it “There was no war in Europe,” said Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck on Monday evening on the ARD “Tagesthemen”.
The debt brake is “very static” and does not differentiate between money that is spent over the course of the year and investments in the future that will only pay off years later. That doesn’t seem wise to him, said the Green politician. These conditions have changed. “Personally, I make no secret of the fact that I think the way the German debt brake is designed is not intelligent enough.”
Habeck emphasized that there is great uncertainty after the Federal Constitutional Court’s ruling. “This does not affect any seemingly absurd climate protection projects, but everyone will be affected by it now. The German economy will shrink as a result of this ruling and will grow less strongly than expected. Economic stimulus money will be withdrawn from the country.”
The debt brake anchored in the Basic Law gives the federal government only limited scope for taking out loans. Exceptions are permitted in the event of natural disasters and in exceptional emergency situations, such as most recently due to the corona pandemic. The FDP is one of the supporters of the debt brake, but it is controversial in parts of the Greens and SPD.
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. It is unclear to what extent the ruling could have consequences for the handling of debt-financed special funds at the federal and state levels.