How would the future federal government handle the basic security?
The election programs of the parties on the subject of Hartz IV differ in some cases considerably.
Berlin - Hartz IV (officially: Unemployment Benefit II) is intended to ensure that eligible people in Germany have a decent livelihood, but there are certain conditions.
Even before the current general election, it is one of the major issues of dispute between the parties.
The "labor market policy radical cure" started in 2002 under the then SPD Chancellor Gerhard Schröder came into force gradually until 2005.
The core of the controversial reform was the amalgamation of the previous unemployment and social assistance to form a state-financed unemployment benefit II. There has always been criticism of the sanctions for those who receive this basic security.
The current Hartz IV standard rate is 446 euros per month, and the job centers also bear the costs for living and heating. Only the smaller part of Hartz IV recipients are unemployed.
Others earn so little part-time jobs that their earnings have to be topped up.
TV trilogy with Scholz, Laschet and Baerbock: ongoing controversy topic Hartz IV
SPD Chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz and Green Chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock both promised the voters in the third TV triall a restructuring of the social system.
The Union candidate Armin Laschet objected.
Scholz and Baerbock demanded higher standard rates.
"Hartz IV is not a job," replied Laschet.
Rather, the federal government must do everything to get people into work.
It is said to be "promote and demand", but other proposals mean "only promote".
Specific figures on the Hartz IV plans can hardly be found in the parties' election manifestos.
It is therefore difficult to say what the plans would cost the general public and what benefits beneficiaries could expect.
Federal election 2021: Hartz IV plans of the SPD around Scholz
The basic security is to be reformed to a "citizen's benefit".
Higher standard rates: The criteria for their determination are to be "further developed" and those affected and social associations are involved in the process.
Assets and apartment size should not be checked within the first two years of moving in.
The test was largely suspended during Corona.
The Social Democrats speak of “good experiences” and now want to hold on to them.
Higher protection capacity.
That is the portion that a recipient is allowed to keep despite help.
The SPD demands “duties to cooperate” from the recipients, but wants to abolish “senseless and unworthy” sanctions.
Federal election 2021: Hartz IV plans from CDU / CSU to Laschet
The Union wants to maintain the “principle of demanding and promoting”, which also includes sanctions.
The parties speak out against an unconditional basic income.
The sister parties CDU / CSU want to "redesign the income offset with Hartz IV in order to create more incentives to take up employment".
Additional income rules for people up to the age of 21 in benefit communities are to be expanded.
"We will improve the framework conditions so that more low-skilled unemployed people can take part in training and further training measures," it says.
Change of residence due to Hartz IV: "Familiar living situations" of older recipients should be protected.
Federal election 2021: Hartz IV plans of the Greens around Baerbock / Habeck
The Greens want to replace Hartz IV with a “guarantee”.
By that they mean a basic security without sanctions.
The “socio-cultural subsistence level” should be recalculated, but the rates should also be “individualized”.
The standard rates should increase by at least 50 euros (whether monthly or annually is not in the election program).
Additional earnings should not be offset against young people in benefit communities.
Federal election 2021: Hartz IV plans from FDP to Lindner
Hartz IV, as well as other social benefits, are to be replaced by a “liberal citizen's money”.
The protective capacity should be increased.
Additional earners should be able to keep more of their self-earned money.
Additional earnings of young people in benefit communities should not be offset up to 450 euros per month.
Federal election 2021: Hartz IV plans of the AfD around Weidel / Gauland
The party wants to replace Hartz IV with an "activating basic security".
"Those who work will in any case have more money available than those who do not work but are able to work (wage gap requirement)," writes the party in its election manifesto.
Hundreds of thousands of EU foreigners would get Hartz IV - only those who have entered the country while taking up a living wage and who have worked for a longer period should have a claim.
Social benefits should also only be paid to domestic accounts.
Federal election 2021: Hartz IV plans of the left around Hennig-Wellsow / Wissler
The party wants to replace Hartz IV with a “minimum income” without sanctions.
It should be adjusted annually to the inflation-related cost of living.
“In order to protect against poverty, it must currently amount to 1,200 euros,” write the left in their party program.
As an intermediate step up to the minimum income, the current benefits are to be increased to 658 euros, including the assumption of living and electricity costs.
The party is also planning a membership decision on the unconditional basic income in 2022.
Video: Terrifying - so many single parents get Hartz IV
The number of single parents Hartz IV recipients has only decreased slightly in the past four years.
Many are still dependent on help.
List of rubric lists: © Daniel Bockwoldt / dpa