Designated Finance Minister Christian Lindner
Photo: FILIP SINGER / EPA
This year the federal government will have to take on much less debt than planned.
Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) expects that he will by far not exhaust the possible credit line of 240 billion euros with well below 200 billion euros.
The reason for this is that the federal government has to spend less money on corona measures.
Tax revenues are also developing more favorably.
Nevertheless, the new traffic light coalition wants to use the leeway and take advantage of all credit authorizations. The future finance minister Christian Lindner (FDP) is to issue a supplementary budget with which the remaining at least 40 to 50 billion euros will be mobilized. The Ampelkoalition intends to use the money to top up the existing energy and climate fund and convert it into a climate and transformation fund. In this way, it creates a financial buffer for the time after 2022, if it wants to stick to the debt brake again. This allows very little net borrowing.
So the new government prefers debt and uses it to finance expenses in later years. In this way, it can keep new borrowing below the ceiling of the debt brake. According to experts in the Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF), the procedure is constitutionally questionable, because the old government has made an exception to the debt brake due to the corona pandemic. Now the new coalition wants to rededicate the money and use it to finance the climate-friendly restructuring of the economy and society.
BMF experts also fear that the agreement will set a precedent.
In the coming year, the traffic light wants to make another exception due to the pandemic.
Lindner could set the new debt far too high for 2022 and move the remaining billions again into secondary budgets.
With such booking tricks, the traffic light would also save a reserve of almost 50 billion euros in the budget, which Lindner will have to dissolve in the coming years in order to push the new debt to the prescribed maximum limit of 0.35 percent of economic output from 2023.