The federal budget for 2020 stands. Also in the coming year, the federal government should get along without new debt. For this he wants to spend significantly more money on work and social affairs, climate protection and families.
With this result, the Budget Committee of the Bundestag concluded its 17-hour so-called clean-up session in the morning, during which the annual adoption of the federal budget is prepared. "There remains: no new debt," said the budgetary spokesman for the Union Group, Eckhardt Rehberg (CDU).
Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) can still spend more than he occupies. The black zero is only maintained by the recourse to a billion cushion, which has been increased by more than 35 billion euros in integration costs for refugees in recent years. From this, 10.6 billion euros will flow into the federal budget 2020 to balance the budget.
Investment slightly increased
Union housekeeper Rehberg pointed out that the committee decided at several points more expenditure compared to the draft budget Scholz. The planned investments have again been slightly increased by about 1.2 billion euros to a record amount of 42.9 billion euros.
Planned cuts in the education budget have been withdrawn. Instead, 222 million euros flowed into the digital pact school. Expenditure on education and research thus reaches a new high of 18.3 billion euros. The structural change in the coal regions will be supported next year with another 500 million euros in addition to the existing 500 million euros.
The draft budget now foresees total expenditure of around € 362 billion. That's about 1.7 billion euros more than planned by Scholz and 1.1 percent more than planned for the current year.
Above all, the budget of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, by far the largest of any ministry at all, is growing more than planned to 150.22 billion euros, according to the coalition parties. It is mainly about the participation of the federal government in housing and heating benefits of social assistance and unemployment benefit recipients and unemployment benefits.
More money for families
The budgets of the environmental and family ministries are also growing faster than initially planned. The plans of Finance Minister Scholz provide for relief for low-income families. For example, the child allowance, maintenance advance and child allowances are to be adjusted.
In addition, the first measures for more climate protection are being tackled - such as the lowering of VAT on train tickets. Larger relief is planned for 2021: then the child benefit will rise again. In addition, for most Germans, the solidarity surcharge is eliminated - the largest tax reduction in recent years.
Defense spending has been increased to 45.1 billion euros, equivalent to a NATO quota of 1.42 percent of gross domestic product. With the increase in spending, Germany is approaching the 1.5 percent target in 2024, Rehberg said.
On the other hand, the expenses of the Ministry of the Interior were lowered. Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) has to save on IT services, devices and software. At the same time he gets new jobs at the Federal Office of Criminal Investigation and the Protection of the Constitution and, in the longer term, money for transport helicopters at the Federal Police.
Criticism from the opposition
Housekeepers put the anticipated interest expenditure for 2020 at 12.6 billion euros, 2.8 billion euros lower than Scholz. The tax revenues were estimated slightly lower. The Bundestag should adopt the budget in the last week of November.
Green Housekeeper Sven-Christian Kindler called the results disappointing. "The coalition lacks the will to act at last," he said. In times of zero interest rates and in view of the lack of investment in climate protection and digitization, it would be wrong to give up new loans.
Also the FDP politician Otto Fricke practiced clear criticism. The big coalition was missing "future initiatives", criticized the budget expert. "Everything that came was just like that, there could have been more."