Finance Minister Scholz: Hope values and air bookings
Photo: Daniel Hofer / laif
The letter from the Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF) is routine and businesslike.
With the usual empty phrases it calls on the departments to tackle the budget for the next year, almost as if nothing had happened.
In typical official German there is talk of the "internal government procedure", of the "preparation of the federal budget 2022", of the "federal financial plan 2021 to 2025", which will be carried out "as in previous years as a benchmark procedure".
Attached are two annexes with 14 appendices, almost 70 pages.
How the budget is to be drawn up is listed down to the smallest detail.
It regulates what new company cars can cost.
Federal ministers are entitled to a vehicle worth up to 75,000 euros, state secretaries up to 69,500 euros, department heads up to 49,500 euros.
The letter duly reminds the budget officers in the ministries of the "principle of economic efficiency in income and expenditure".
Business as usual?
The instructions from the BMF do not reveal with a single syllable that the budget for 2022 is the greatest challenge for the federal government in more than ten years.
For a long time, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) and his predecessor Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) were able to draw on the full.
Year after year they planned with households without new debt, and year after year they were surprised by the good economic situation.
In the end, billions in surpluses in the federal treasury rang regularly.
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