In the first year of the pandemic, 2020, the country raised around EUR 2.85 billion to fight the effects of the coronavirus. The debt brake was lifted and the household credit burden increased by 9.4 billion to 12.2 billion euros. According to the Court of Auditors, these loans are completely overstated in its special report. It would do much less.
The Court of Auditors often sees no connection with Corona
So far, only a quarter of the fund (EUR 763 million) has been spent. This alone shows that it is difficult to have a direct link to a pandemic. Much of the expense has nothing to do with Corona – for example, the school curriculum and digitization efforts. Here, under the pretext of “Crown”, the country tried to smooth out the omissions of the past. But that’s not the case with debt.
Doubts about the constitutional use of funds
The president of the Court of Auditors, Martina Johannsen, also cited “a special fund for university medicine” as an example. The country shifted € 360 million from the Corona Conservation Fund. Planned investments in better medical equipment in clinics are not related to the pandemic. “The state audit office has serious doubts as to whether the MV protection fund’s loan-financed resources are used in accordance with the constitution,” says Johannsen.
Inspectors are demanding the cancellation of new debts
Financial controllers are critical of the country’s quasi-general power to incur debt for years to come, with some programs scheduled to run until 2030. In turn, the Budget Act provides for annual decisions on expenditure and income. Johannsen and its experts urge the country not to exhaust its credit line and to refrain from taking on further debt. This takes the burden off future generations and provides more financial freedom in the long term.
No solid financial policy – fallback end
“For me, such a shadow budget is not a sound financial policy,” complained Johannsen. The threat during the pandemic has also ended. Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig (SPD) spoke about “solid” fiscal policy only after the budget was passed last week. The country relinquished new debts. Schwesig did not mention that its Finance Minister Heiko Geue (SPD) may still have funds financed by debt from the MV protection fund.
Supported by the Taxpayers’ Union
The Court of Auditors is supported by the Taxpayers’ Union. “We agree with the State Audit Office’s view that the MV protection fund must be cleared as soon as possible,” said Vice President Diana Behr. She indicated that two of the fund’s projects had already been criticized in her association’s black book. This applies to financial aid to newspapers and the subsequent cancellation of the purchase of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine.
The SPD justifies a protection fund
In turn, the SPD parliamentary group rejected criticism of the protection fund. The spokesman for your financial policy, Tilo Gundlack, said that thanks to the funds from the fund, “we stabilize our economy, protect human health and provide security to everyone to control the pandemic in solidarity and have been going on for two years now.” The Court of Auditors’ Special Report does not contain any new aspects. The AfD faction confirms itself. The state government operates “unconstitutionally with the pseudo-democratic reptile fund, while regular tax revenues are wasted on scarlet rubbish,” explained financial policy spokesman Martin Schmidt.
Complaint to the Constitutional Tribunal against protection funds
The parliamentary group of the AfD Schmidt brought a complaint against the MV protection fund to the National Constitutional Court in Greifswald. The special report of the Court of Auditors is wind on its sails. In Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate, constitutional judges already found similar provisions wholly or partially unconstitutional. The state government has always rejected criticism of the MV Conservation Fund. The fund was necessary and just in extraordinary times.