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False claims on TikTok: Gen Z celebrates basic income: “With 725 Euros, I can sleep in and order from Lieferheld”

From January, the rates for basic income will be increased by an average of 12 percent. This means single individuals will earn 61 Euros more per month in the future, namely 563 Euros. People living with their partners will then receive 508 Euros, instead of the previous 451 Euros per month.

The basic income plans of the traffic light coalition have sparked a fierce debate. Supporters of an increase emphasize that the constitutionally guaranteed subsistence minimum must be secured even with rising inflation, and the raise is thus only a logical consequence of general price increases.

TikTokers express their opinions on basic income: “You have to work hard, I can watch the Champions League”

However, many businesses fear that the small wage gap to basic income will exacerbate the existing labor shortage, especially in low-wage industries. Restaurants, bakeries, or cleaning companies are finding it increasingly difficult to find workers, while currently about 3.9 million capable workers receive basic income.

Many young people are also currently discussing the topic online – not always in a factual manner. The latest trend: On TikTok, representatives of Generation Z are addressing the planned increase in basic income; partly with bitter humor and borderline statements.

“I only get 725 Euros for lying down and watching TV,” for example, rejoices an influencer with the suggestive name “herr_jobcenter”. In a Lidl Christmas sweater and with a plate of bean stew on his knees, the young man celebrates basic income in one of his latest videos. Working wouldn’t be worth it anymore, instead all Germans should receive social benefits: “You have to work hard, I can watch the Champions League and order from Lieferheld (Note from the author: Lieferheld no longer exists under that name and has been absorbed by Lieferando),” he rambles.

 “Public service, only 1600 net. Thanks for nothing … Work doesn’t pay off anymore”

The post has so far garnered more than 30,000 likes. The opinions in the comments are divided, ranging from “How can anyone live on 725 Euros?” to “I’ll quit immediately if that’s true”.

Another example: TikToker “ich.bin.xenia” is also pleased with the increase in basic income. According to her own statement, she used to work for 14.50 Euros per hour. Now she has more time for shopping and going out. Many of her followers also seem to have no more desire for a 40-hour work week and work stress: 

“Alright, then let’s all quit our jobs and apply for basic income, we work for free,” writes a user. Another suggestive comment: “Public service, fully trained, only 1600 net. Thanks for nothing … Work doesn’t pay off anymore”.

Gen Z and basic income: Not everyone wants the hammock life

In addition to frustration, the increase in social benefits also provides entertainment for some users. “Just a reminder for those who don’t know how far to turn up their heating in winter – level one is for the mini-jobbers, level five for the colleagues on basic income,” it says in a video by user “pilgrim75”.

Of course, the truth is that by no means all young people see the increase in basic income as an invitation to a hammock life. “It’s all well and good, but I prefer to work for my money and continue to develop myself,” is also stated in the comment sections on the basic income posts.

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