Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP): New debts
Photo: IMAGO/Jens Schicke
As a result of the Ukraine war, the federal government is preparing for the fact that the federal government will have to take on more new debt than previously planned.
The new debt in the core budget of 99.7 billion euros will be maintained - despite higher spending for the coronavirus pandemic and relief for citizens and companies, said Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP).
In addition, however, “a supplementary budget will be sent to the Bundestag in the next few weeks”.
Including the planned special fund for the Bundeswehr of over 100 billion euros, the draft budget already envisages net new debt of almost 200 billion euros.
The supplementary budget that has now been announced could increase new debt again.
This should show the consequences of the war in Ukraine, which are not yet foreseeable, said Lindner.
Further measures – such as cushioning the high energy costs – could necessitate higher borrowing.
Union criticizes the government's "dream world".
For the current year, the Bundestag has to suspend the debt brake in the Basic Law for the third year in a row.
The draft budget for 2022 and the financial planning up to 2026 would reflect the status "as we can quantify it today," according to the Ministry of Finance.
"The changes that are still pending will be introduced on the track."
The first consultation of the draft budget is scheduled for next week in the Bundestag.
The supplementary budget will be introduced later in the Bundestag deliberations.
This could certainly drag on: The federal government only wants to quantify the consequences of the Ukraine war for economic growth and tax revenue with the spring forecast in April and the tax estimate in May.
The new debt will be "higher than currently targeted due to further reactions to the war and its serious consequences," said Green Housekeeper Sven-Christian Kindler.
The chief budget keeper of the opposition Union faction, Christian Haase, criticized the draft as being too low: "The net borrowing in the federal budget will certainly have to be around 140 to 150 billion euros if you face the economic realities." Including the Bundeswehr special fund, the new debt would then be at 240 to 250 billion euros.
Lindner must "finally leave his dream world of complying with the debt brake".
It is “time for the government to finally set the right priorities”.