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Citizens' allowance or work: Sanctions for those who refuse to work have had little effect since their introduction

2023-12-06T04:31:53.704Z

Highlights: Citizens' allowance or work: Sanctions for those who refuse to work have had little effect since their introduction. From January, citizens' allowance in Germany will be increased by a further twelve euros - 563 to 563 euros. The traffic light coalition introduced the citizens' allowances mainly at the insistence of the SPD. The Citizens' Allowance Act came into force on 16 December 2022 and has been implemented by the authorities since the beginning of the year. It currently amounts to 502 euros per month for single people, in addition to which the state covers the rent and heating costs.



Status: 06.12.2023, 05:17 a.m.

By: Patrick Mayer

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The citizens' allowance has been criticised: those who refuse to work seem to fear hardly any sanctions. A butcher's shop manager reports on his experiences.

Berlin – Hubertus Heil, the Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs from the Social Democratic Party (SPD), recently felt compelled to issue an unusual warning in front of a broad television audience. He advised employees not to give up their jobs because of the citizens' allowance. "Someone who is so stupid as to resign because of the citizen's allowance will not receive any citizens' allowance for the time being, he will first get a block on unemployment benefits," the Social Democrat said on November 14 in the ARD program "hart, aber fair".

Citizens' Allowance: Sanctions for refusal to work are rare

Since its official introduction on January 1, 2023, the successor to Hartz IV has been controversial. Now, a case from the business world is supposed to show that those who refuse to work who receive citizens' allowance hardly have to expect sanctions.

In detail: Volkmar Woite, the managing director of a butcher's shop in Michendorf (Potsdam-Mittelmark), expressed his frustration to the news portal rbb24 that he is unsuccessfully trying to hire citizen benefit recipients in his company via the employment agency. Between September and the beginning of November, the responsible employment agency in Brandenburg presented him with 47 job seekers, Woite said. More than three-quarters of them even had a suitable qualification.

Citizens' allowance: Sanctions against those who refuse to work are imposed less frequently

Of the number of unemployed people mentioned, however, only two women had registered with him. "I called several people who also seemed interesting to me, who are also from Potsdam, for example - so not so far away. After all, the commute to work must also be reasonable. But they don't go at all," Woite reported. The fact is that sanctions for breaches of duty have been imposed much less frequently since the introduction of the citizens' allowance than in the days of Hartz IV. rbb24 quotes the Federal Employment Agency for comparison: In July 2019, about 65,000 sanctions were imposed, in July 2023 there were only 30,000.

Labour Minister Heil must defend the citizens' allowance (archive) © Kay Nietfeld/dpa

Are the established sanctions, such as those for non-attendance, no longer an effective means of exerting pressure on those who refuse to work? A look back: The traffic light coalition introduced the citizens' allowance mainly at the insistence of the SPD, the party of the chancellor. The Citizens' Allowance Act came into force on 16 December 2022 and has been implemented by the authorities since the beginning of the year. It currently amounts to 502 euros per month for single people, in addition to which the state covers the rent and heating costs for the recipients of the social benefit.

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Citizens' Money: Sanctions mitigated compared to Hartz IV

As in the previous Hartz IV system, reductions of up to 30 percent are also possible in the citizens' benefit. The traffic light federal government, consisting of the SPD, the Greens and the FDP, originally planned to punish missed appointments with only ten percent. Compared to Hartz IV, what has changed is that sanctions can only be increased gradually. Before 2019, Hartz IV could lead to cuts of up to 100 percent of state benefits.

However, the so-called protective assets were exacerbated by the citizens' money. It is now 40,000 euros instead of 60,000 euros, for each additional person in the household 15,000 euros instead of 30,000 euros. From 1 January, the citizens' allowance in Germany will be increased by a further twelve percent - to 563 euros. However, there is already fierce criticism of this, which is why the FDP has called for a review of the increase.

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-12-06

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