Thursday, November 25, 2021
Funds from supplementary budget
Ampel wants to pump 50 billion into funds
The SPD, Greens and FDP want to invest a lot, but how do they finance the project? According to media reports, 50 billion will come from unused funds from the previous year and flow into climate protection. However, the Federal Audit Office has constitutional concerns.
To finance planned investments in the billions in digitization and the CO2-neutral restructuring of the economy, the future traffic light coalition is planning a supplementary budget for 2021, according to the SPD parliamentary deputy Achim Post. The new government will “put a supplementary budget on the way this year, with which we will transfer unused credit authorizations from 2021 to the climate and transformation fund,” said Post to the editorial network Germany.
“This alone will create additional scope for investment that will be in the double-digit billion range in the coming years,” said the SPD politician to the RND newspapers. The traffic light parties want to convert the previous energy and climate fund (EKF) into a climate and transformation fund (KTF), in which investments in climate protection and the transformation of the economy are to be bundled.
As part of the supplementary budget, more than 50 billion euros should be pumped into the climate fund, reports, among others, the news agency Reuters and the “Rheinische Post” and refer to party circles. The money can then be used for investments in climate protection over the next few years.
The President of the Federal Audit Office, Kay Scheller, clearly criticized the traffic light budget plans in the “Handelsblatt”. He called it “constitutionally problematic” to, as it were, park billions in reserves in the EKF for future investments in order to have them available in later budget years.
“Normally you would have simply reduced the loan requirement this year if you don’t need the money,” said Scheller. “Now the debts should be taken on anyway, in order to have room for maneuver for the future.” In the 2021 budget, a record debt of 240 billion euros is planned due to the corona pandemic, which will only be partially needed. If these funds were now used for climate investments, there would be no “reference to the emergency with which the suspension of the debt brake was justified,” warned the President of the Court of Auditors.
The debt brake anchored in the Basic Law is still suspended this year and next due to the corona pandemic. Several people familiar with the considerations told Reuters that the budget of 240 billion euros for this year would be almost exhausted by the supplementary budget. Recently, significantly less was expected here. It is still unclear whether the debt limit of around 100 billion euros planned to date will also be fully exhausted or even expanded for 2022. This would be a way of creating a buffer before the debt brake is set to take effect again from 2023.
Insider: The repayment of the corona debt should start later
The designated finance minister and FDP leader Christian Lindner has already said that the order of 100 billion euros should be enough. However, that was before the recent worsening of the corona situation. In the traffic light coalition agreement that the three partners presented on Wednesday, it says: “We will develop the Energy and Climate Fund (EKF) into a climate and transformation fund. In the 2021 budget, we will receive funds from credit authorizations that have already been budgeted and not used Make the supplementary budget available to the Climate and Transformation Fund (KTF) for additional climate protection measures and measures to transform the German economy. ” Sums remained open in the contract. The Federal Ministry of Finance did not want to comment on the information.
As Reuters further reports, insiders assume that the supplementary budget will have to be introduced this year. The Bundestag is not likely to deal with it until 2022. The traffic light coalition wants to create additional budgetary leeway by extending the repayment of the corona debts. The first payments are not expected to start until 2028 – five years later than previously planned. The repayments should then run for three decades to 2058. So far, two decades have been earmarked for this. According to insiders, this will bring relief of two billion euros per year in the federal budget from 2023, and from 2026 even of almost ten billion