No reason for federal law: Greens counter state criticism of payment card dispute

No reason for federal law
Greens counter country criticism of payment card dispute

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There is currently a lot of controversy about the payment card for refugees. The traffic light is arguing about relevant changes in the law. This also causes criticism from the federal states. The Greens are now firing back.

In the dispute over changes to the law for the nationwide introduction of payment cards for asylum seekers, criticism from the federal states continues. “One expects reliability and rapid implementation from a joint decision by all 16 federal states with the Chancellor and the federal government,” said Saxony-Anhalt’s Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff to the “Bild” newspaper. “If not, the public’s trust in federal politics will be further damaged.”

Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder confirmed his plans to introduce the payment card even without federal regulations. “Unfortunately, anyone who waits for the federal government will hope in vain,” he told “Bild”. The Parliamentary Secretary of the Green Party, Irene Mihalic, however, sees no reason to secure the introduction of payment cards for asylum seekers through a federal law. “I honestly don’t understand why there is an argument about something that has long been legally possible and just needs to be implemented,” she told the Germany editorial network.

“Payment cards have been issued in Hamburg since Thursday, and in Bavaria the payment card should start in two weeks. Hesse could also just get started,” said Mihalic. The countries have all the legal options they need, “and they are apparently being used.” This has been discussed in the coalition and has also been represented by the Chancellery for months.

Hamburg presents

At the weekend, media reports caused a stir that the Greens were refusing to support the changes to the law agreed upon for the nationwide introduction of payment cards. Planned changes, for example to the Asylum Seekers’ Benefits Act, are again up for discussion, reported the “Bild”.

In November, Chancellor Olaf Scholz agreed with the heads of state governments to introduce the payment card. At that time, the states were tasked with developing “national minimum standards” for the map, and the federal government was supposed to support them in this. At the end of January, 14 of the 16 federal states agreed on common standards for payment cards. The aim is to allow refugees to receive part of the benefits they are entitled to as credit instead of in cash.

On Thursday, Hamburg was the first federal state to announce that it had started issuing the card. Several other federal states have also already initiated the issue.

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