It can not go on like this. It’s getting worse and worse for the unemployed, pensioners and single parents, real hardship awaits them. The constantly rising prices for basic services also affect the lower middle class. Low-income households are particularly affected. A new study says: almost five times harder than the highest income earners.
There is nothing, or a lack of savings, that will alleviate the problem – unless the government does it. And she does, there is a way: Social Affairs Minister Hubertus Heil wants to take it with determination, after all.
The poorest in Germany spend more than 62 percent of their money on housing, food and household energy. And that’s where the prices shoot through the roof. For the richest fifth, this expenditure accounts for only 44 percent. The relief packages that have been passed so far are only helping to a limited extent.
That’s why Diakonie President Ulrich Lilie describes the situation drastically and vividly as follows: Many people will have to decide in winter whether to turn off the heating or eat less. When electricity and energy bills can no longer be paid, some people risk losing their homes. The problem has been identified, remedy is difficult, but possible.
The Diakonie proposes to support particularly burdened households beyond all known standard rates – with 100 euros net per month for a period of six months. Total costs: 5.4 billion euros. Less, Lilie notes sarcastically, than the roughly three billion euro rebate, which is ultimately inefficient.
Why the extra sum? Because the number of people seeking help has increased by 20 percent – and this affects young people in particular. Unemployment and homelessness are becoming the greatest challenge. The state has to be preventive and caring.
The crises now are already the crises of future generations. Coming from Europe, from the war in Ukraine, it is becoming increasingly difficult to stick to concepts such as controlling climate change. If nuclear power now also returns to coal-fired power generation, then the generally necessary reversal will be delayed again. That takes time that nobody has.
In addition, more and more citizens are making ever higher debts, across all income levels. But when people become over-indebted, they are not the only ones who stumble in the end – the stability of society as a whole is endangered. She cannot tolerate any additional imbalance.
That is why the employers’ proposal to reduce taxes and social security contributions should not be dismissed entirely. This can be an additional idea to secure the economic and social location. Consumption – just as a point – is one of the drivers of the economy. But there must be money for this, and the belief that things will be good, or at least better.
“More net from gross” would be understood as a help, from the middle income bracket onwards. The bottom ones don’t have anything of it directly, the government has to get them going in a different way. The Diakonie shows the way, the Minister of Social Affairs comes along: Higher standard rates, a changed calculation independent of the price development, newly put together relief packages – everything so that things generally improve. It’s worth every effort.