Christian Lindner and Olaf Scholz. The Chancellor intervenes in the stalled budget talks. © Bernd von Jutrczenka/dpa
The coalition continues to wrestle with the 2024 budget. Not all ministries agree with the budget planned by Finance Minister Lindner. Now the Chancellor is supposed to mediate.
Berlin - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has intervened in the coalition dispute over the federal budget for the coming year. A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Finance said, with a view to corresponding media reports, that it is true that Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) is holding talks with some colleagues on the budget together with the Federal Chancellor. First, the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" and the "Welt" had reported on it.
It was also said that Lindner had already announced this procedure to the cabinet members in the event of "explanatory requests" at the presentation of the final budget procedure in the preliminary cabinet discussion on May 31. "The talks are taking place at the request of individual ministers and serve to explain the budgetary requirements of the ceilings. Budget negotiations are not taking place."
Narrator: Procedure is not a novelty
Only technical adjustments within these so-called ceilings are planned until the cabinet decision, the spokeswoman said. "This approach is not new, similar processes have already taken place in the past. In particular, a cabinet retreat or budget deliberations in the coalition committee, as in 2010, will be dispensable."
Lindner had told the other ministries how much money should be available to them in the coming year. The ministries are now called upon to "independently" make the design of their respective planned budget, a ministry spokeswoman said.
Debt brake to be complied with again
The coalition has been wrestling with the 2024 budget for a long time. The debt brake enshrined in the Basic Law is to be complied with again. To this end, additional costs must be compensated for by the collective bargaining agreement in the public sector and higher interest rates. The federal government will also have to make do with less money in the coming year than the tax estimators had predicted in the fall. This was the result of the tax estimate in May. The FDP rules out tax increases.
At the beginning of June, sources in the Ministry of Finance said that Lindner had discussed the further procedure for drawing up the budget with his colleagues. Scholz and he had both stressed that the government draft should be available before the parliamentary summer recess from 7 July. This is also expected by the budget committee of the Bundestag, which will then continue to work with the draft. Dpa