BFederal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) sees little scope in the federal budget for the basic child security system demanded by the Greens. “A lot has already happened for families with children,” said Lindner of “Bild am Sonntag”. More is “always desirable, but not always possible”.
“Child benefit has been increased to 250 euros, higher than it has been since 1996,” said Lindner. The Federal Government provides a total of seven billion euros more per year for families and children. “The essentials for the basic child security is done financially.”
“Child poverty is often due to the unemployment of the parents”
He sees other approaches to combating child poverty, said the FDP chairman: “Child poverty is often due to the parents’ unemployment. That’s why language support and integration of parents into the job market are crucial in order to improve the children’s chances.
Federal Family Minister Lisa Paus (Greens) is vehemently demanding the introduction of basic child security and estimates the costs at twelve billion euros per year.
As priorities for the 2024 budget, instead of basic child security, Lindner named “the renewal of the infrastructure of all modes of transport, digitization of the state, upgrading of the Bundeswehr, strengthening education and research, modernization of trade, medium-sized companies and industry”. Other projects should be “marked as ‘desirable but currently not feasible'”.
For 2024, the finance minister expects record revenues for the state. “The state as a whole is expected to take more than one trillion euros for the first time in the coming year,” said Lindner of the “BamS”. However, the money is not enough to finance the federal government’s legal obligations, Lindner told the newspaper. “There is currently no question of additional expenditure.”
Most recently, the Greens have focused on the introduction of basic child security. Group leader Britta Haßelmann told the editorial network Germany (RND/Saturday) that the focus was on combating the climate crisis and socially cushioning the necessary changes. Together, the traffic light coalition raised the minimum wage, passed the citizen’s allowance and two relief packages with social compensation, reformed the housing benefit, introduced the energy price flat rate and increased the child benefit to 250 euros.
At the same time, Haßelmann made it clear: “Now one of the next central projects for us is basic child security.” In Germany, every fifth child is poor or at risk of poverty. “This threatens the children’s future and is scandalous in such a rich country. Changing that, that’s what it’s all about now.”
FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr, on the other hand, made it clear again on Saturday on Deutschlandfunk that the liberals are not only concerned with the financial volume in the federal budget for basic child security. It is crucial that the money reaches those who need it. “And that’s why we said: We want a children’s opportunity portal so that families can get the money they are entitled to in an automated and digitalized way.” A reduction in bureaucracy is needed. “Unfortunately, the Federal Minister for Family Affairs (Lisa Paus/Greens) is not quite there yet,” said Dürr.
From 2025, basic child security is to bundle state benefits for families and children. It is still controversial in the coalition what should be included.
Haßelmann said: “The basic child security is more than a digitization project. It is about poverty prevention and growing up in material security. Child poverty excludes.”