Bundestag plenary: 39.5 billion euros for bridging aid
Photo: Christian Spicker / imago images / Christian Spicker
The grand coalition wants to take on almost 180 billion euros in new debt in the coming year and invest significantly more money than planned in health, transport and infrastructure.
That was the result of the final deliberations of the budget committee early on Friday morning in Berlin.
The federal budget for 2020 now provides for a total of around 498.6 billion euros - hardly less than in the current year, when aid programs worth billions were spontaneously financed due to the pandemic.
The Bundestag is expected to pass the draft in the week of December 8th to 11th.
In the more than 17-hour “clean-up meeting”, the housekeepers decided on several changes to the draft by Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD), which the cabinet had approved in September.
The bottom line is that expenditure has now increased by more than 85 billion euros in comparison.
Scholz had already made several adjustments himself.
He had to plan costs for vaccines against the corona virus and further billions in aid for the economy affected by the renewed partial lockdown.
The finance minister topped up the planned additional loans shortly before the final committee meeting from 96 to 180 billion euros.
The last adjustment of over 20 billion was necessary after the federal-state consultations on Wednesday, when, among other things, new economic aid had been agreed for December.
Changes in detail
The housekeepers added more in some places and cut something down in others.
39.5 billion euros are now available for bridging aid for the economy, and corona aid, for example for professional sports clubs, has been extended.
Around 2.7 billion euros are planned for the procurement of corona vaccines.
Large sums also flow into relief for many households.
In the coming year, most citizens will no longer have to pay the solidarity surcharge - this is the biggest tax cut in recent years.
In addition, families should receive 15 euros more child benefit per child per month.
For all taxpayers, the basic tax-free allowance on which no income tax is paid increases.
The housekeepers also decided to raise funds for the renovation of municipal facilities in the areas of sport, youth and culture and increased humanitarian aid by 170 million euros.
"The 2021 federal budget is all about the corona pandemic," said the Union's housekeeper, Eckhardt Rehberg.
"The high debts are necessary to get our country safely through the pandemic of the century." For this, the constitutionally anchored debt brake should be suspended again in the Bundestag.
However, the burden on the federal government also has limits, emphasized Rehberg.
"It is no longer acceptable that the states evade their financial responsibility." The federal government must negotiate a state participation in the economic aid.
The housekeeper of the Greens, Sven-Christian Kindler, also described the borrowing as correct.
However, the budget of the grand coalition has a social imbalance and leaves the unemployed and self-employed in the rain.
The investments for the climate-neutral restructuring of the economy are far too small, instead the federal government is saving billions of large corporations that make money with fossil fuels.
"This household is a threat to the climate," emphasized Kindler.
FDP housekeeper Otto Fricke, on the other hand, sharply criticized the high loans.
The Union and SPD would take on twice as much debt as necessary.
Instead of taking up savings proposals and investing the money freed up in high-quality FFP2 masks, for example, the coalition is making it easy for itself.
"It issues the government a blank check for 35 billion by means of a global overspend, thereby getting rid of the further development of ideas," criticized Fricke.
“Never before have the budget committee decided so much additional debt in a clean-up meeting within hours.
That is a record, but unfortunately a sad one. "
Icon: The mirror
mik / dpa