Friday February 12th 2021
Thousands of kilometers of pipeline
Federal Council installs power line turbo
In an anniversary meeting, the Federal Council clears the way for the urgently needed network expansion. But that's not all: the parental allowance should also be handled more flexibly in the future. The chamber of states also worries about the often precarious pension provision for Jewish refugees.
The Federal Council has given the green light for a new high-voltage power line from the North Sea to North Rhine-Westphalia. The direct current corridor is one of 35 new projects in the new federal requirements plan, which the regional chamber passed today in its 1000th session. With the construction of thousands of kilometers of pipeline, the wind power, which is mainly produced in northern Germany, is to come to industrial centers and the south of the republic.
Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier said that the way was now clear for the further expansion of the electricity transmission network in Germany. "The gradual shutdown of the coal-fired power plants and the remaining nuclear power plants make it necessary to increasingly transport electricity over long distances." For this purpose, the new law establishes the necessity for the energy industry and the urgent need.
Parental benefit is becoming more flexible
The working hours permitted while receiving parental allowance will be increased from 30 to 32 hours per week. The partnership bonus for the parallel part-time of both parents is now possible with 24 to 32 hours per week instead of the previous 25 to 30 hours per week and will be simplified. There are also improvements for parents of premature babies. Parents receive a further month's parental allowance if their children were born at least six, eight, twelve or sixteen weeks early.
A new right to apply for parents with low self-employed additional income enables them to take better account of their income. Parents who work part-time while receiving parental allowance only have to provide proof of their working hours retrospectively in exceptional cases.
The law also contains provisions that are intended to ensure that parents do not suffer any disadvantages when receiving parental allowance and partnership bonus as a result of the pandemic, for example because they receive income replacement benefits such as short-time working allowance or sickness allowance.
Paramedics get more legal certainty
In the future, emergency paramedics will have more legal certainty during their missions: They can carry out certain life-sustaining interventions on patients even before an emergency doctor arrives at the scene of the accident. The prerequisite is that there is a risk of death or serious consequential damage.
The obligation to file for insolvency remains suspended
Companies that can expect state aid to mitigate the consequences of the Corona do not have to file for insolvency for the time being. The Federal Council extended the suspension of the obligation to file for insolvency, which was originally limited to the end of January 2021, until April 30, 2021.
The prerequisite is that the applications for support were submitted between November 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021. The new regulation also extends the deadline for submitting a tax return by the tax advisor by half a year: for the 2019 assessment period, the deadline runs until the end of August 2021 instead of the usual end of February.
Inventory data law tilted
The Federal Council has stopped the controversial law on information about inventory data from telecommunications operators for the time being. It is about the extent to which the authorities can get customer data from Internet providers, for example. The new regulation should also create the conditions for the law to combat hatred and crime to come into force and be applied. This does not happen at first. An agreement can now be sought in the mediation committee.
Federal Council worries about pensions for Jewish refugees
Because the refugees from the former Soviet Union often suffer from old-age poverty, the Federal Council advocates better care. He suggests a "fund solution" for this. The regional chamber sees another possibility in at least changing the law on foreign pensions in order to achieve equality between Jewish immigrants and ethnic German repatriates.
Steinmeier visits Kammer for the anniversary
The Federal Council has no legislative periods and is therefore an "eternal constitutional organ". This brings together the impressive number of 1000 meetings – since the first meeting in 1949. In his address, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier praised the Federal Council as an instrument for "limiting power" and as a "constitutional all-rounder". With a view to the corona pandemic, he warned of a "bluff game" at the state levels.