The minister has registered thousands of new jobs for the introduction of the family benefit, which has sparked criticism from the SPD and the FDP. Greens counter.

Lisa Paus is sitting alone in the Bundestag, with empty blue chairs behind and in front of her

Wants to “move from citizens' obligation to collect to the State's obligation to pay”: Minister of Family, Lisa Paus (Greens) Photo: Thomas Trutschel/imago

SEDAN taz | The Greens insist on quickly introducing a basic child welfare system, despite criticism from coalition partners of previous plans, which call for a new authority structure and thousands of new administrative positions. “When I heard that 5,000 jobs were planned, I was a little surprised,” SPD leader Lars Klingbeil told the German publishing network last week. The vice president of the FDP parliamentary group, Gyde Jensen, told the Table.Media portal that no one needs a new authority with so many positions. It will be difficult to continue serious negotiations on the project.

The Greens, on the other hand, aim for agreements within the traffic light. “In the coalition agreement, all three parties agreed that we would bundle different family benefits into basic child welfare and actually combat child poverty. The Council of Ministers jointly stipulated in the bill that the new family service under the umbrella of the Federal Employment Agency should take care of this,” Stephanie Aeffner, who negotiates the issue for the parliamentary group in the Bundestag, told taz on Tuesday. .

The bill approved by the cabinet, headed by Green Family Minister Lisa Paus, has been in the Bundestag since September. Since then there has been little visible progress in the discussions. The project provides for the bundling of benefits such as child benefit, citizen child benefit and child benefit for low-income parents. The new family service as a central point will take care of this. It would come from existing family funds, which already pay child benefit.

The original idea behind this: less bureaucracy and more transparency for those affected. In fact, the current project could complicate procedures rather than simplify them, experts warned at a first hearing in the Bundestag in November. Until now, parents of needy children only had to contact the employment office and in the future they would contact various authorities, he added.

According to Green MP Aeffner, after the hearing the traffic light factions asked the ministries involved to examine: could children whose parents receive citizen benefits continue to be cared for by employment offices? All chambers involved – including those led by the SPD and FDP – had raised constitutional concerns. The logical consequence is to group all children in family service, already provided for by the Cabinet. “After receiving the responses from the different ministries, I assume that before the summer holidays we will decide on basic child safety in the Bundestag and the Bundesrat,” Aeffner continued.

It's also about partisan profiling.

The Greens also defend the projected job growth. According to the bill, family service employees should automatically check whether a family is entitled to other benefits in addition to the basic amount of basic child support. In the future, this would also reach families who are already entitled to benefits but do not submit applications due to lack of knowledge or excessive demands. And a larger number of benefit recipients also means higher administrative costs.

“With the 5,000 jobs we want to move from the obligation of citizens to collect them to the obligation of the State to provide them,” said Family Minister Paus at the weekend. Rhine Newspaper. Representative Aeffner points out that personnel needs were quantified by the Federal Employment Agency itself. “I would trust an authority like the BA on these issues. It’s not like we Greens came up with that number,” he said.

The fact that his party has to justify its plans for basic child welfare is not new. The original models were already drawn up during discussions in the cabinet. There is much less money available for the project than Paus initially requested. Additionally, not all services are included in basic child welfare. In particular, the SPD repeatedly accuses the Minister of Family Affairs of technical deficiencies in the bill.

In addition to the dispute over the issue, the debate also revolves around the political profile of the party: many Greens hope that their party will have more competence in social policy if they manage to achieve basic child welfare. The SPD, on the other hand, fears competition from the Ecological Party on its central issue and the FDP does not want to be linked to an expansion of the welfare state in the next electoral campaigns.

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