Liberals on a Union course: FDP swerves when it comes to citizen money

Status: 11/21/2022 3:55 p.m

In the citizens’ income debate, the Union insists on a change of direction – and has now received support from the FDP. Their general secretary demanded: SPD and Greens had to move on the subject of sanctions.

By Kai Clement, ARD Capital Studio

It is an irony of history that the Union is defending a red-green labor market reform with Hartz IV. She demands that support and challenges should not be given up. What is meant is the planned period of trust in citizen money: the traffic light wants fewer sanctions and more cooperation in the first half of the year.

The traffic lights? Not quite, the FDP has found large overlaps with the opposition Union, of all people, because they have heard “that many people have a disturbing feeling here in particular, according to the motto: The issue of performance justice is not sufficiently taken into account here.” From the point of view of his party, FDP General Secretary Bijan Djir-Sarai continues, this period of trust is therefore not necessary.

So he is completely on the Union line. Djir-Sarai then demanded that not only they have to move, but also the SPD and the Greens, especially when it comes to sanctions.

Mediation Committee meets in two days

Now the SPD and the Greens could also feel disturbed that their coalition partner is only two days away from the talks in the mediation committee on this point.

Green parliamentary group leader Britta Haßelmann did not accept the ball for a traffic light dispute. “Conversations that are currently taking place will not be commented on from my side today,” she explained.

So far only preliminary talks are going on. The Mediation Committee of the Bundestag and Bundesrat will not meet for the first time until Wednesday evening at 7 p.m.

Kühnert believes it will be implemented this week

Recently, there has been a lot of probability calculations as to whether there will be an agreement or not, according to SPD General Secretary Kevin Kühnert. But: “It’s not up to me or us to ponder how likely we think that is,” said Kühnert – and then pondered. “We don’t want to believe that there shouldn’t be a political majority to make this reform possible by January 1. We believe it will work this week.”

Optimism from many quarters, including from the FDP general secretary: “Without revealing any details: these talks are factual.”

The weekend was rather heated – at least the speeches at party political events. CDU leader Friedrich Merz spoke of a “messed-up reform”. Chancellor Olaf Scholz accused the Union of being “aloof” and snooty in social policy.

Haßelmann: Reform is “more than an increase in the standard rate”

For the governing coalition, the basic income reform is the most important social reform for many years. Haßelmann, leader of the Greens faction, underscored this once again: “The basic income reform, if it comes – and I’m pretty sure it will – will be more than an increase in the standard rate. We have repeatedly emphasized that to the Union.”

And that’s why the traffic light – unlike the Union – also refuses to raise only these standard rates for the time being.

Citizens’ money and the disturbing feelings of the FDP

Kai Clement, ARD Berlin, November 21, 2022 2:45 p.m

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