Too little money for support: Left leader sees basic child welfare as a “non-starter”

Too little money for support
Left leader sees basic child welfare as a “non-starter”

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Less money, significant delays: There is still a dispute about the basic child support demanded by Family Minister Lisa Paus. Left leader Janine Wissler is annoyed that the plans have now been significantly reduced. Also that implementation is taking so long to come.

Left leader Janine Wissler has sharply criticized the current plans for basic child security. “The most important reform project of the Green Family Minister (Lisa Paus) is increasingly turning out to be a nonstarter that is not really being implemented,” said Wissler. “Those who suffer are millions of children who grow up in poverty.” The dispute between the governing parties is “being fought on the backs of the poor children in this country.”

Wissler accused Paus of having prepared the reform “so poorly that the Federal Council is flooded with over 100 pages of amendments.” Despite the return of funds to the bureaucracy, job centers and family services would remain dependent on mutual information, said the left-wing politician. For many families, Paus’ plans meant that in the future they would have to deal with two authorities instead of one. “If communication between them does not work smoothly, funds may be paid out late or in the wrong amount, resulting in painful repayments.”

Wissler also criticized that too little money was earmarked for financial support. “Instead of the twelve billion euros per year estimated by Paus, it is only a little more than two billion,” said the left-wing politician. “A quarter of that alone, around half a billion, flows into the bureaucracy of the authorities instead of benefiting children in need.” The impact of Paus’ proposal on the poverty rate “would be minimal, at most a change in the third decimal place.”

For a “noticeable improvement,” “significantly higher financial support is necessary,” said Wissler. She spoke of a “fatal and short-sighted (…) austerity and cutting policy” by the traffic light coalition. Anyone who saves on supporting children today will have to make up for the deficits later.

Tough resistance from the FDP

The basic child benefit is intended to bundle several services for children and make them more easily accessible to families. The coalition wants to combat child poverty more effectively. The corresponding draft law was discussed in the Bundestag for the first time in November, but the legislative process has stalled and many details of implementation are still open. The leaders of the SPD, Greens and FDP will meet for consultations in Berlin on Wednesday evening; No specific decisions are planned at the coalition committee meeting. Finance Minister Christian Lindner had previously called for a revision of Family Minister Paus’ plans for basic child support.

The President of the German Child Protection Association, Sabine Andresen, was also not satisfied with the draft law on basic child protection. “We all wanted a lot more from the reform,” she told the Bavaria media group newspapers. The reform is “definitely not yet a big success”. “If we don’t even get started now, that would be fatal,” said Andresen. Among other things, she called for a recalculation of the “children’s subsistence minimum”. She has the impression that there are “different ideas in the traffic light coalition about whether we really want to prioritize the fight against child and youth poverty or whether it should be treated as a secondary priority.”

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