Bundestag and Bundesrat vote on citizens’ income
The citizen money had to do an extra round – in the mediation committee. Now the reform, which is supposed to replace “Hartz IV”, is to be wrapped up in the Bundestag and Bundesrat.
After the compromise in the mediation committee, the planned citizens’ income will be the subject of the final votes in the Bundestag and Bundesrat this Friday. This means that most of the law can come into force at the beginning of the new year. The mediation committee of parliament and the chamber of states had changed some points in the draft law that had already been passed in the Bundestag after it had failed in the Bundesrat.
In the Bundestag, which is still busy with the budget for 2023, some formal steps are necessary to include another item on the agenda. The so-called resolution recommendation of the Mediation Committee contains changes to the draft law that were added under pressure from the Union – above all more sanction options for the unemployed and less protective assets than originally planned. A roll-call vote on this resolution recommendation should then follow without further debate.
Also a debate in the Bundesrat
It is then up to the Federal Council. There is also a debate planned. If both houses vote positively, millions of those affected will receive significantly higher basic security from January 1st. Other parts of the law, for example for more qualification and further training for the unemployed, are not to come into force until July 1st.
According to a report by the news portal “The Pioneer” (Friday), the four states with left-wing government participation – Thuringia, Berlin, Bremen and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania – want to vote for the citizens’ income bill. The Federal Council could then vote unanimously in favor of the reform, reports “The Pioneer” from regional circles.
Left speaks of system change
However, the party leadership adopts a somewhat different tenor. “We will do everything in the German Bundestag, through the left-wing states in the Bundesrat and through our left-wing state governments to achieve the system change,” says a joint statement by party and faction leaders, which is available to the German Press Agency. For the left, this includes “a sanction-free minimum security of 1,200 euros”.
Green leader Ricarda Lang and SPD leader Saskia Esken follow suit after the compromise in the mediation committee against the CDU and CSU. Lang told the newspapers of the Bayern media group: “What I don’t understand is that the Union, as a party of social indifference, is still proud of having played the people of this country off against each other for weeks.” SPD leader Esken told the newspapers that the CDU and CSU had “revealed with their campaign against citizen income that they do not have an overview of the scope of the reform that we are now carrying out”.
Hartz IV would then be history
Lang called the citizen’s allowance a “strong signal of social security in times of crisis”. With that, Hartz IV is history. Greens parliamentary group leader Britta Haßelmann told the German Press Agency: “Sanctions will be significantly reduced. The priority of mediation will be deleted, so we end the revolving door effect from the job center to the temporary job and back.”
The parity criticized the new rule sets again as insufficient. “The increase in the standard rate by 52 euros is just a compensation for the inflation-related loss of purchasing power in the last year,” said the general manager of the parity welfare association, Ulrich Schneider, the newspapers of the Funke media group. “According to our calculations, the standard rate would have to be raised to 725 euros instead of 501 in order to actually ensure people’s social subsistence level.”
City Day demands more money
At the turn of the year, the German Association of Cities called for better financial support for the job centers – not only because of the new citizen benefit, but also in view of the expansion of housing benefit and other refugees from Ukraine. “The job center can handle this Herculean task,” said Managing Director Helmut Dedy of the editorial network Germany. “But you need extensive financial resources for more staff and the procedures.”
Video Outcome of the mediation committee 1st meeting of the mediation committee Bundestag resolution on citizen income Federal Ministry of Labor on citizen income statistics Recipients Federal Council meeting 25.11.