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Budget dispute of the traffic light: points of contention, timetable, negotiations

2023-12-04T08:46:05.541Z

Highlights: Budget dispute of the traffic light: points of contention, timetable, negotiations. Economy Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) has cancelled a trip to the COP4 climate conference in Dubai planned for Monday evening (28 December) at the request of Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) The trip will be postponed to the next possible date. The traffic light coalition continues to struggle for a federal budget for 2024. The budget ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court has left billions of dollars in gaps.



Status: 04.12.2023, 09:40 a.m.

By: Stefan Krieger

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Vice-Chancellor Habeck sets priorities and cancels a trip to the World Climate Conference for the budget negotiations in Berlin.

Berlin – Economy Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) has cancelled a trip to the COP4 climate conference in Dubai planned for Monday evening (28 December) at the request of Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) due to the budget crisis. Habeck's presence in Berlin is necessary to further advance talks on the 2024 budget after the ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court, a spokesman for the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Sunday evening (3 December). The trip will be postponed to the next possible date. Habeck had planned talks in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Israel after the conference.

Traffic light budget dispute: Arduous process

The traffic light coalition continues to struggle for a federal budget for 2024. Commenting on Habeck's cancellation, SPD General Secretary Kevin Kühnert said directly in the ZDF program Berlin: "Every free minute will be used among the members of the government to draw up a draft budget for 2024 according to the provisions of the Constitutional Court ruling from Karlsruhe."

Habeck sees progress in the difficult negotiations in the coalition. "I am quite optimistic that we are well on the way to reaching an agreement," he said on Sunday evening on ARD's Anne Will programme. When asked that this did not mean that he was sure that the coalition would agree, Habeck said: "I can't speak for everyone. But I repeat that I believe that we are making good progress." The Vice-Chancellor continued: "It is a process that is arduous, that is obvious, but which brings progress."

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Robert Habeck and Christian Lindner must reach an agreement in the budget dispute. © Michael Kappeler/dpa

Federal budget 2024: traffic light under pressure to reach agreement

If the 2024 federal budget is to be passed before the end of this year, the SPD, FDP and Greens must soon reach an agreement. The negotiations are mainly being conducted in a tripartite group with Chancellor Scholz, Vice-Chancellor Habeck and Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP). The budget ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court has left billions of dollars in gaps both in the budget for 2024 and in a fund for the modernization of the economy and for climate protection. Particularly controversial are possible savings, especially in social spending, which are demanded above all by the FDP.

This also includes the planned increase in the citizens' allowance by an average of 1 percent on January 2024, 12. Lindner had pointed out that the inflation rate is developing much better than forecast when the standard rate was set for 2024. FDP Secretary-General Bijan Djir-Sarai had told Bild am Sonntag that there was an urgent need to reassess the citizens' money. The SPD rejects this. A spokesman for Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) said, according to the Bild newspaper (Monday), that there are "no corresponding plans not to make the legally required adjustment of the standard rate on January 1, 2024."

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Verdict of the Federal Constitutional Court: Social Associations Against Savings

The president of the social association VdK, Verena Bentele, warned against a withdrawal of the planned increase in citizens' money. "The citizen's allowance is not a social hammock. Just as the retroactive and overdue increase is not a laziness bonus," she told the newspapers of the Funke media group (Monday). Food prices remain high, even if inflation is declining somewhat.

Bentele emphasized that many people no longer know how to pay their bills and get full. She said: "Anyone who claims that recipients are happy to receive social benefits is in the wrong movie." She described the adjustment as an important first step towards the planned increase.

Maria Welskop-Deffaa, President of the German Caritas Association, also sharply criticized the demands to save money in the social sector. She told the editorial network Germany (RND): "After the Karlsruhe ruling, it would be fatal to save mainly on social spending." (SKR with dpa)

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-12-04

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