A lot will change again for consumers in April. In addition to the planned new regulations, for example on BaföG repayment, the corona crisis has resulted in some changes.
- April brings changes to some regulations and laws.
- Affected are BaföG repayments, protection against dismissal for tenants and taxes on airline tickets.
- Numerous changes have also been made in response to the current corona crisis * .
Berlin - The corona virus * has already fundamentally changed the world - in April some new bureaucratic and legal regulations will be added. And beyond the pandemic measures, consumers will have to adjust to new laws and regulations next month. An overview of the changes:
1. New rules apply to BaföG repayers
Those who received BaföG before August 2019 had until February 29 to choose between two methods of repayment, the old and the new repayment process . The new rules automatically apply to all others, the German Student Union announced.
What has now changed concretely: According to the old regulation, BaföG recipients had to repay their funding at a maximum rate of 105 euros per month, with the maximum repayment amount totaling 10,000 euros. The new regulation now states that beneficiaries must repay 130 euros regardless of income for a maximum of 77 months. That is a maximum of 10,010 euros .
However, according to a report by Focus.de , the Studentenwerk further explained that all those who apply for repayment rates lower than 130 euros per month due to insufficient income will also be debt-free after 77 monthly installments . This also applies in the event that the entire 10,010 euros have not been reimbursed. If someone cannot repay the 77 repayment installments within 20 years despite demonstrable efforts and participation, the remaining debts will be canceled .
2. Hartz-IV is now available without an exam
For six months, job centers are now waiving the Hartz IV application to check the assets and the amount of the apartment rent for those affected. In addition, Hartz IV recipients no longer have to come personally to the job center, but a call is usually sufficient. Applications for unemployment benefits can now be made by phone or online.
3. Rising minimum wages in the construction industry
The construction industry is also slowly feeling the current effects of the corona pandemic. But before that, the construction industry had been on the upswing for years and sales grew. Therefore, as of April 1st, there will be more money for more than 200,000 of the approximately 820,000 construction workers nationwide.
The Central Association of the German Construction Industry and the Central Association of the German Construction Industry had agreed with IG Bau on increasing wage floor limits for the industry .
- The minimum wage for auxiliary work increases from April by 35 cents to EUR 12.55 per hour .
- For skilled workers in West Germany and Berlin , the minimum wage increases by 20 cents to EUR 15.40 and EUR 15.25, respectively.
- Only in the East German area countries there is no minimum wage for construction workers.
The new minimum wages should initially apply by the end of 2020 .
By the way: You can also read the effects of the corona virus on the German economy and the global economy at Merkur.de *.
4. Another change: flying is becoming more expensive
Because of the corona crisis, most planes are currently on the ground. Nevertheless, a regulation will come into effect on April 1, which should make flying less attractive. The reason for this is that flying is particularly harmful to the environment. Therefore , taxes on airline tickets will rise in the new month . And at least in part, airlines will probably add these tax increases to airfares.
- For domestic and EU flights , the air traffic tax increases by more than five euros to 13.03 euros per ticket.
- For longer flights , it is increased by almost ten euros to 33.01 euros up to 6000 kilometers.
- Around 18 euros more than before, and thus a total of 59.43 euros , are due for further flights.
5. Protection against dismissal will be expanded for tenants
According to the current legal situation, a landlord could terminate the tenancy if no rent was paid for two months in a row. Due to the current Corona crisis, layoffs are now prohibited if loss of income means that the tenant cannot pay his rent . This regulation should initially apply to rent debts from April 1 to June 30 . However, the Federal Government is authorized to extend the period of the measures until the end of September 2020.
In principle, however, the tenant's obligation to pay the rent remains, so it is only postponed . Payment arrears must be paid after two years at the latest - by June 30, 2022. Otherwise, the landlord can cancel.
6. Owners can pause their loan for three months
For some citizens who mortgage a home finance loan month after month, the Corona crisis could make it difficult to pay their installments in the near future. The Federal Government has therefore decided that there should be a legal deferral arrangement.
This stipulates that all consumer loan contracts concluded before March 15, 2020 can be paused for up to three months . This applies to both interest, repayment and repayments that are due between April 1 and June 30, 2020. However, the prerequisite for this is that the owner can prove that the Covid 19 pandemic means that he has lost income - and that paying the loan further would mean that a reasonable livelihood is at risk.
7. There are also changes to the child supplement from April 1
The Corona Aid decided by the Federal Cabinet gives parents with loss of earnings easier access to the child supplement from April. Families in which the parents' earnings are not sufficient for the entire family are to be supported with this supplement. Federal Minister of Family Affairs Franziska Giffey announced on Monday that the calculation basis for the "emergency child supplement" should be significantly reduced . Assets should not be taken into account for a limited period of time.
The # corona virus pandemic is causing many families to run out of money. We want to support these families with a #NotfallKiZ. This can mean an additional monthly fee of up to € 185 per child. Check your claim now at https://t.co/A7RhNeMX1n. #Child supplement pic.twitter.com/QFvw2cPpgO- Ministry of Family, Seniors, Women & Youth (@BMFSFJ) March 23, 2020
So far, the average income over the past six months has been the basis for calculation. From April 1st only the income of the last month before the application has to be proven. This regulation initially applies until the end of September.
8. In some federal states, the daycare contributions are exceptionally canceled in April
Parents in North Rhine-Westphalia do not have to pay any contributions to their children's care facilities in April . For the coming month, all parental contributions for daycare centers across the country would be suspended, said NRW family minister Joachim Stamp on Thursday. There are also similar regulations in Saxony and Thuringia . If the children cannot be looked after, parents should be reimbursed for kindergarten and after-school fees .
And also in many cities and municipalities in Lower Saxony and in Baden-Württemberg , parents will probably not have to pay any daycare fees in April. Schleswig-Holstein also wants to restore the fees. Saxony-Anhalt has meanwhile announced that it will help parents who are particularly hard hit by the effects of the corona pandemic to make childcare contributions .
You can also read which changes came into effect in March for consumers at Merkur.de *.
* Merkur.de is part of the nationwide Ippen-Digital editors network.
List of rubric lists: © dpa / Armin Weigel