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Once more expensive: New citizens’ money blow! The splurging policy of the traffic light coalition comes back to haunt

Due to the announced increase, the citizens’ money will be significantly more expensive next year than planned. The Bundestag’s budget committee approved an additional 3.4 billion euros overnight on Friday. In addition, according to information from the German Press Agency, another 1.4 billion euros will be allocated for the assumption of rental and heating costs. Several media outlets reported on the adjustment on Thursday.

Citizens’ money costs continue to skyrocket

The traffic light coalition expects citizens’ money costs for 2024 to be 38.7 billion euros, as reported by the “Bild”-Zeitung. “This would be nearly ten billion euros more compared to 2022 under Hartz IV,” says CDU politician Christian Haase. One reason is the increase in standard rates. This leads to additional costs of around 2.3 billion euros. However, according to the traffic light coalition’s calculations, this has only been partially taken into account.

Citizens’ money to increase by around 12 percent

At the beginning of 2024, the citizens’ money for over five million adults and children in basic security will increase by an average of around twelve percent. Just like with Hartz IV, the standard rate will be adjusted annually based on prices and wages. This will increase the citizens’ money for single individuals to 563 euros on 1st January.

Criticism is coming from the business sector. “If the federal government keeps pouring more funds into citizens’ money, it will greatly hinder companies in their search for labor,” says Franz Xaver Peteranderl, Vice President of the German Crafts, to the “Bild” newspaper.

Committee reverses cutbacks

Already for 2023, the federal government will need over three billion euros additionally because the number of citizens’ money recipients significantly increased due to the poor economic situation and the costs for accommodation also rose.

The committee also reversed planned cutbacks in the labor market policy of the job centers. “We succeeded in deciding on an additional 750 million euros for the job centers in the 2024 budget negotiations,” explained the SPD representative Kathrin Michel. This should help to facilitate the faster employment of long-term unemployed and refugees.

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