Who gets what? How much does a traffic light pay off?

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FROM: Jens Kiffmeier


Citizens’ incomes instead of Hartz IV: The SPD is pushing for reform of the traffic light negotiations. But how much is paid? Party leader Saskia Esken wants to bargain for height.

Berlin – Zoff on the abolition of Hartz IV: When determining the amount of incomes of new citizens, a hard argument appears in coalition negotiations with the lights. SPD leader Saskia Esken warned the FDP negotiators and the Greens against too little reform. “The incomes of new citizens must be adequate, that is clear,” the Social Democrat leader now explained. When adjusting social benefits for ALG II recipients, it is important to understand the changed realities of life.

Financial assistance for the unemployed: Unemployment benefit II (so-called Hartz 4)
Introduced: January 1, 2005
Legal basis: Second Book of Social Legislation

Hartz IV reform: How high is the income of the new citizen? The traffic light coalition has to decide about it

Following the federal elections in 2021, the SPD and its chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz are currently negotiating with the FDP and the Greens on the creation of a traffic light coalition. The talks were briefly suspended due to the inaugural meeting of the Bundestag. But in the coming days, three potential coalition partners want to resume negotiations. The three parties meet with up to 300 negotiators in 22 working groups to lay the groundwork for future cooperation under the coalition agreement.

He wants to fight for citizens’ money: SPD leader Saskia Esken. (Edited with kreiszeitung.de) © Philipp von Ditfurth / Sina Schuldt / dpa

Citizens’ income will also play a central role in this. Already in the first exploration phase, the SPD, the Greens and the FDP agreed in principle that the existing Hartz IV system should be abolished and replaced with a new labor market policy. So far, however, everyone involved has remained silent about the exact amount of incomes of new citizens, which has nothing to do with an unconditional basic income.

Esken, who belongs to the left wing of the SPD and has been denounced by political opponents as a red spirit, also finds it difficult to give concrete figures. That needs to be cleared up in the negotiations, she told Taz. But just in case, she hammered a few railings and promised to revise the basis of the calculations.

Citizenship allowance: SPD leader Saskia Esken reveals details on how to calculate the amount

But it is complicated. Esken pointed out that there is a wage gap requirement. In other words, if you work full time you need to have more in your pocket than the Hartz IV recipient. But if wages were to rise, standard unemployment rates could be adjusted accordingly, according to Esken.

In principle, however, the SPD sees the need for action. The leader of the SPD admitted that the cost of living is currently changing. This has to be “included” in the calculations, says Esken.

Citizenship Benefit instead of Hartz IV: The new basic security should offset inflation and energy costs

In doing so, it also reacted to loud criticism from trade unions and community organizations. For months they have been demanding an increase in the standard rates of Hartz IV * from 446 euros a month to at least 600 euros. Although the unemployed will receive three euros more per month from January 2022, the president of the Parity Welfare Association recently called the increase a “joke”. Because the plus does not even come close to balancing the rising inflation.

What agreement is the traffic light coalition reaching on the amount of income of citizens? Our newsletter informs you about free updates.

Inflation has been rising rapidly since the beginning of the year. In September, the value breached the 4 percent limit for the first time in 28 years. This increase is mainly due to the soaring price of natural gas which causes a huge increase in energy costs. But the prices of fruit and groceries are also soaring. Green politician Jürgen Trittin has therefore already called for a € 100 grant for Hartz IV recipients to compensate for inflation – a proposal that Green Party leader Robert Habeck has already rejected *. kreiszeitung.de and 24hamburg.de are offered by IPPEN.MEDIA.

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