New Family Minister Paus: Financial expert with an eye for social justice

Status: 04/25/2022 12:26 p.m

In the afternoon, Lisa Paus receives her certificate of appointment as Minister for Family Affairs. The Spiegel successor is a financial expert. Their main goal: poverty reduction. A focus should be single parents.

By Nina Amin, ARD capital studio

The call to the ministry came as a surprise – even for Lisa Paus. From now on, the Greens needed a new family minister. The choice fell on the financial expert Paus.

In her brief introductory speech almost two weeks ago, she said: “Of course I have a lot of respect for this task. There’s a lot ahead of me.” But, says the former Greens parliamentary group leader, she is ready.

combat child poverty

The 53-year-old says of herself that she is passionate about social justice. Fighting child poverty is a priority for her. Every fifth child in Germany is at risk of poverty. Paus knows that children of single parents are particularly at risk of poverty.

Paus is also raising her son alone. “But I’ve been a member of parliament for many years, really privileged. That has nothing to do with the situation of the vast majority of single parents in this country. And it’s about them.”

This is well received by the association for single mothers and fathers. Their Federal Executive Chair Daniela Jaspers speaks of structural disadvantage. According to the association, 86 percent of single parents are women. Many work part-time and have great difficulty juggling work and children. Care offers early in the morning or late in the afternoon are far from being available everywhere.

Important project: child security

The planned basic child security egg, says Jaspers, is also urgently needed for single parents. Above all, that the money arrives where the child lives and has the center of its life and “does not end up with the other parent, although the child is hardly there”.

Basic child security – the big project of the traffic light coalition. It is intended to make time-consuming individual applications, for example for child benefit or student tickets, superfluous, so that the money comes more easily to children from poor families.

No money has been earmarked for this in this year’s budget. However, from the middle of the year there will be a monthly surcharge of 20 euros to bridge the gap. A drop in the bucket, say critics. Daniela Jaspers from the Association of Single Parents hopes that Paus, as a financial expert, will implement basic child security more quickly. The Green politician will certainly be measured against this.

“With all my heart for seniors”

As Minister, Paus is also responsible for senior citizen policy. The Greens politician says she considers it a great privilege to be the minister of all people in Germany. “But also and especially and with all my heart for the seniors.”

Loneliness, poverty in old age – for many older people this is a big issue. Clemens Tesch-Römer, head of the German Center for Age Issues, has long missed such clear words on senior citizen policy. Although most older people in Germany are doing well, “social inequality that lasts a lifetime also persists in old age. In old age there is no longer a chance of getting out of old-age poverty or isolation.”

This is where politics must start, says Tesch-Römer, to involve older people and their experiences more, be it in childcare or other voluntary work. Paus will receive her certificate of appointment from the Federal President today. As Minister for Family, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth there is a lot to do.

Lisa Paus: A single parent as a minister for everyone

Nina Amin, ARD Berlin, April 25, 2022 11:47 a.m

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