This federal government can make you dizzy. What does she want to achieve? The Chancellor comes back from vacation by helicopter to announce landmark decisions to save the energy company Uniper and to relieve the burden on the citizens. And then suddenly a confusing discussion begins again about the direction in which things are actually going.
The rescue of Uniper should certainly not be the only reason for the quasi-dramatic action. What would that have looked like? So the chancellor also promised to relieve those on low incomes who were plagued by inflation and energy costs. In short: That sounds like a lot of money from the state. But Olaf Scholz doesn’t say so. And where it should come from, neither. As a precaution, because of internal discussions?
Disappointment is added to confusion. If those responsible don’t understand each other, how are people in the country outside of the political bubble supposed to understand each other? Scholz either did not understand his deputy, Finance Minister Christian Lindner, or did not listen to him when he said something about his rescuer appearance.
You don’t even know what’s worse. In any case: Lindner has contradicted a “Bild” report, according to which he is said to have stopped a new aid program for low earners. According to the newspaper, it was about five billion euros.
However, this may also be quibbling. Lindner says that he is not preventing the relief, on the contrary, he is proposing it – only with the help of his plans against the so-called cold progression, in which salary increases are eaten up again by rising tax rates.
The minister therefore wants a higher basic allowance and a “fair wage and income tax rate” for 2023. That is “compatible with the debt brake”. The Scholz promises, on the other hand, not? May be. But nobody explains that. And above all, it does not seem to have been properly clarified with the finance minister beforehand.
A conflict over the debt brake is looming. Lindner wants to prevent additional spending, he sees little further scope for additional spending in the budget and refers to the framework provided by the constitution.
SPD leader Saskia Esken, for example, sees things differently. She speculates that there will again be an exception to the debt brake. Is Scholz thinking in this direction? Again, no one really explains that.
The debt brake has been part of the Basic Law since 2011. She demands that the budgets of the federal and state governments do without income from loans. For the federal government, net borrowing is limited to 0.35 percent of gross domestic product. In “extraordinary emergency situations”, however, the Bundestag can suspend the debt brake, as in the two Corona years.
Discussions about this will now be unavoidable. Because expensive relief – for example through a larger number of people entitled to housing benefit – will inevitably. Otherwise resentment will explode, especially during elections.