According to a report in the “Bild” newspaper, Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) prevented Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) from presenting a new aid program for low earners.
Scholz wanted to present the spending package worth around five billion euros on Friday, according to coalition circles. However, Lindner opposed the plans, after which Scholz was unable to provide any specific information about new aid.
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Lindner therefore wants to prevent additional spending next year with a view to the debt brake. According to the report, the finance minister argued that there was hardly any further scope for additional spending in the federal budget.
The FDP boss had already made a similar statement at the weekend. “We will and will have to operate within the framework set by the constitution,” said Lindner of the German Press Agency.
“Some are speculating that there will be another exception to the debt brake,” he said. “Behind this lies the misunderstanding that one could then finance general political projects and wishes. But that is legally impossible.”.
The debt brake, which has been enshrined in the Basic Law since 2011, aims to ensure that federal and state budgets get by 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 2021 and 2022 due to the Corona crisis.
On Friday, in view of the exploding energy prices, Chancellor Scholz held out the prospect of further relief for citizens for the beginning of next year, but this should primarily take place as part of a housing benefit reform. In addition, a protective shield for defaulting rent and electricity or gas customers is under discussion. In mid-September, politics, business and trade unions want to discuss further steps.