Supplementary budget: Lindner and the FDP risk their credibility

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The 60 billion dowry is a heavy price to pay for power

Controversial supplementary budget – opposition criticizes “sleight of hand”

Federal Finance Minister Lindner (FDP) has defended the € 60 billion supplementary budget for 2021 against loud criticism in the Bundestag. The opposition speaks of “sleight of hand” because corona loans are to be parked in the climate fund for later investments.

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The FDP was chosen by many citizens for the promise of a solid financial policy. But the party and its finance minister say goodbye after a few days in government. The mountain of debt is to be increased by 60 billion euros. Lindner risks its credibility.

NThe price that the Liberals are willing to pay for seats on the government bench was previously easier to quantify: it is 60 billion euros. This dowry in the form of new debts brings FDP leader Christian Lindner into the alliance with the SPD and the Greens.

To do this, he jeopardizes his own credibility and that of his party right from the start of his reign. The supplementary budget has nothing to do with a solid financial policy in which the rulers, instead of reflexively demanding more money, first see that they can get by with what is available.

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Especially since the 60 billion euros are not simply left over, as the citizens like to believe. There are additional debts that are to be bunkered under the pretext of further fighting the pandemic for climate protection in the next few years – when the debt brake anchored in the Basic Law is activated again.

It would be normal to leave unused loan commitments unused. This could even be sold as a success. At least for all those citizens who do not assume that the state can constantly spend more money. It is not so. Especially at a time when the first central banks are starting to raise interest rates again, it should be clear to everyone that a lot more debt can become very expensive in the future.

Today the FDP has to put up with the reproach it used to make against the Union

When the representatives of the FDP were still sitting on the opposition benches in the previous year, they accused the CDU and CSU members of a similarly daring budget maneuver of making themselves accomplices of a possible constitutional breaker. What was meant was the then Finance Minister Olaf Scholz.

Today the liberals have to put up with this accusation themselves. The debt brake is a constant reminder in the Basic Law to all representatives of the people to think carefully about what they are spending everyone’s money on and what not. Yes, climate protection and the modernization of the country are important issues for the future.

First of all, they are not related to the current Corona emergency situation, which alone justifies the suspension of the debt brake. Second, there is already a lack of government billions, but a lean administration and fast approval procedures. The FDP has to take care of that now.

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