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Billions Hole in Federal Budget: “Starting Fresh”: Lindner Wants to Suspend Debt Brake for 2023

Traffic Light Coalition to Suspend Debt Brake

16.44 o’clock: The traffic light coalition wants to use the exceptional provision of the debt brake for this year due to the Karlsruhe budget ruling. The federal government will propose to the Bundestag to adopt an exceptional emergency situation, a spokesperson for Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) said on Thursday.

Lindner: “My task is to start fresh”

16.11 o’clock: Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner commented on the impact of the budget ruling in a press statement. The government is now drawing the consequences from the ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court. In consultation with the Chancellor, Lindner will present a supplementary budget next week. “We will put the expenses for the electricity and gas price brake on a constitutionally secured basis. This requires a supplementary budget,” Lindner said in his press statement. “I see it as my task now to start fresh. We can only talk about the next years once we have a constitutionally secured state. This will require a supplementary budget.”

Lindner gives press statement on budget ruling

15.11 o’clock: Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner will give a press statement on the impact of the budget ruling at 16 o’clock. FOCUS online will report live on this ticker for you.

Ministries deny: Armed Forces special fund not frozen

10.14 o’clock: The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Defense have denied a media report that the special fund for the Armed Forces was also frozen as a result of the Karlsruhe budget ruling. The economic freeze imposed on Tuesday only affects future financial commitments in the core budgets of the ministries, a spokesperson explained on Thursday. “The management of the special fund Bundeswehr is not affected by this.”

The “Augsburger Allgemeine” had reported that spending from the special fund is currently not possible. The Defense Ministry stated that this was incorrect. However, there are projects in the special fund that should continue to be financed from the core budget after 2028. The Ministry of Defense (BMVg) has “proactively” restricted the financing commitments for projects from 2028 onwards. This provides the opportunity to submit requests to the Ministry of Finance to secure the financing of these projects from the special fund. This is a purely precautionary measure.

The Ministry of Finance had precautionarily frozen so-called commitment authorizations for the coming years in the individual budgets of the ministries to prevent additional financial obligations from arising in the current situation. The extent to which the ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court affects different parts of the federal budget is still being examined.

Union’s spokesperson optimistic: “Supplementary budget for 2023 is still possible this year”

08.47 o’clock: Christian Haase, the budgetary policy spokesperson of the Union parliamentary group, expressed confidence in an interview with Bayerischer Rundfunk (Bayerischer Rundfunk, Bayern 2, Radiowelt am Morgen) that a supplementary budget for 2023 can still be adopted this year.

Haase expressed in the interview that with some cooperation, the supplementary budget for 2023 can be managed with regard to deadlines by the end of this year. Then we should address 2024 and we should do that calmly at the beginning of 2024.

If the coalition now “becomes honest” and tackles the issues, then “we naturally offer to work together constructively,” Haase said in the interview.

Reul: Lack of federal funds endangers radio communications for police and fire departments

Thursday, November 23, 08.18 am: Herbert Reul, the Minister of the Interior of North Rhine-Westphalia (CDU), sees the operational safety of digital radio communications for fire departments, police, and rescue services in Germany at grave risk due to the lack of finances. Continuous network monitoring, immediate fault clearance, as well as the necessary capacity expansion and further development are no longer given with the funds allocated so far, Reul told the German Press Agency. According to him, there is a budget gap of at least 130 million euros at the responsible federal agency for the coming year.

“With its catastrophic budget policy, the federal government is letting down the states and jeopardizing the safety of the people in Germany,” emphasized the CDU politician. It is nothing less than the ability of security authorities, fire departments, rescue services, disaster relief units, and many others who are on duty day and night to protect the population. According to his own statements, the Minister of the Interior of North Rhine-Westphalia had already pointed out the significant underfunding of the Federal Agency for Digital Radio of the Authorities and Organizations with Security Responsibilities (BDBOS) to the Federal Minister of the Interior, Nancy Faeser (SPD), in October by letter.

SPD Chief Klingbeil: “I expect the government to come to a decision quickly now”

21.38 pm: “Mistakes have been made, overall, it is an enormous test for the government, as SPD Chief Lars Klingbeil responded to Marietta Slomka on ZDF‘s heute journal, why this coalition still seems to be taken by surprise by the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court. “We need a budget quickly now. But I’d rather discuss it for a week, two weeks longer and make the right decisions than to act too quickly now and maybe make mistakes afterwards,” Klingbeil said.

When asked why the government doesn’t have a plan B, an emergency plan, Klingbeil replied: “It is indeed the case that I expected the government to prepare for this. I expect the government to come to a decision quickly now. The companies, the citizens of this country need clarity. They need planning certainty, it’s a phase of uncertainty anyway. And the government must now ensure that we quickly have the budget.”

“And here is the fallacy”: Lindner’s advisor dissects Habeck’s proposal for the debt brake

2:59 pm: The proposal by Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) for a reform of the debt brake is assessed differently by top German economists. “The proponents of such a reform do not have the investment concept of budget law in mind, but subsidies for old industries for the transformation to climate neutrality,” said Lars Feld, the former chairman of the Council of Economic Experts, to the Düsseldorf “Rheinische Post” (Wednesday).

“A subsidy does not become an investment by renaming it. And here is the fallacy,” added the advisor to Finance Minister Lindner.

Das Thema wird von dem Wirtschaftsfachmann Rüdiger Bachmann von der Universität Notre Dame im Bundesstaat Indiana in den USA anders betrachtet. Er äußerte: “Es ist ökonomisch dringend erforderlich, eine Reform durchzuführen.” Da die vorhandene Schuldenbremse weder Signale für die Tragfähigkeit der Schulden noch eine angemessene makroökonomische Stabilisierungspolitik zulasse. Mit Bezug auf Investitionen in den Klimaschutz betonte Bachmann: “Man sollte die Klimatransformation auch mithilfe von Schulden finanzieren, da es sich um ein langfristiges Projekt handelt.”

Ampel verzichtet auf abschließende Haushaltssitzung für Etat 2024

13.20 Uhr: Die Koalition Ampel hat die abschließende Bereinigungssitzung des Haushaltsausschusses für den Etat 2024 abgesagt. Dies berichtet die “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. Bereits am Vormittag wurde von der Deutschen Presse-Agentur über ein entsprechendes Schreiben des Ausschusssekretariats berichtet. Ohne Fristverkürzung im Bundesrat wäre ein Beschluss des Etats 2024 vor Jahresende nicht mehr möglich.

Die Bereinigungssitzung ist die abschließende Sitzung eines Haushaltsausschusses im Verfahren zur Ausstellung des jeweils neuen Etats für das kommende Jahr. Die Entscheidung folgt auf das Desaster der Ampel rund um das Urteil des Bundesverfassungsgerichts zum Haushalt 2023 und das daraus resultierende Milliarden-Loch.

Ex-Finanzminister Steinbrück: Aktuelle Schuldenbremse nicht zeitgemäß

11.25 Uhr: Der frühere Bundesfinanzminister Peer Steinbrück sprach sich für eine Reform der Schuldenbremse aus, die während seiner Amtszeit in das Grundgesetz aufgenommen wurde. Steinbrück sagte: “Es muss eine Schuldenbremse geben, aber die jetzige ist erkennbar nicht mehr zeitgemäß.” Es besteht ein enormer Investitionsbedarf in verschiedenen Bereichen, und wir leben in einer anderen Zeit als 2009, als die Schuldenbremse aufgrund der hohen deutschen Staatsverschuldung in das Grundgesetz aufgenommen wurde. Grundsätzlich möchte er jedoch an der Bremse festhalten: “Die Politik braucht Regeln für eine solide Staatsfinanzierung. Sie neigt dazu, sich in Schulden zu flüchten, um Steuern zu senken oder soziale Wohltaten zu verteilen, weil dies offensichtlich populär ist.”

In der Debatte um einen Ausweg aus der Haushaltskrise werden Änderungen oder sogar eine Abschaffung der Schuldenbremse diskutiert. Finanzminister Christian Lindner (FDP) besteht darauf, sie einzuhalten. Steinbrück verglich die Forderung nach einer Abschaffung mit “dem Spiel auf einer Luftgitarre, weil dies einer Zweidrittelmehrheit in Bundestag und Bundesrat bedürfte”.

Unions-Politiker kritisiert: Ampel betreibt „geplanten Verfassungsbruch“

10.53 Uhr: Trotz des großen Haushalts-Desasters der Ampel will die Koalition am laufenden Verfahren zur Haushaltsaufstellung 2024 festhalten. Dies erzürnt den CDU-Politiker und Haushalts-Experten Christian Haase. “Die Koalition betreibt geplanten Verfassungsbruch. Sie ist aufgefordert, sich den Realitäten zu stellen”, sagte er gegenüber der “Bild”-Zeitung. Und weiter: “Doch halten vor allem SPD und Grüne in verantwortungsloser Art und Weise am offensichtlich unseriösen Haushaltsverfahren fest.”

Er untermauert seine Aussagen im Anschluss mit drastischen Worten: “Der Haushalt 2024 kann in dieser Form aktuell nicht verabschiedet werden, es sei denn, SPD und Grüne möchten das Land ins Verderben führen.”

Mehr zum Milliarden-Loch im Bundeshaushalt lesen Sie auf den nächsten Seiten.

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