Citizen money or the new basic security demanded by the CDU? Ricarda Lang (Greens) and Philipp Amthor (CDU) had a “very technical discussion” about this in the ARD speech “Hard but fair”. The recipient of the civil benefit brought the politicians down to earth.

A trained wholesale and foreign trade merchant, Thomas Wasilewski worked for 30 years and raised three children. He never imagined that he would “depend on transfer payments himself”. As a disabled person, he has received support for twelve years and often does not know what will happen next: the result is sleepless nights, palpitations and psychological problems, the M√∂nchengladbacher reported on “Hart aber fair” (ARD).

5.5 million people receive civil compensation

It was “a very abstract thing for you, poverty,” he accused the other guests – Anke Rehlinger (SPD), Green Party leader Ricarda Lang, Philipp Amthor (CDU), entrepreneur Marie-Christine Ostermann and the former boxing world champion's foundation founder. Henry Maske – front. “For me, it's concrete everyday life.”

According to the Federal Employment Agency, 5.5 million people in this country receive civil benefits. According to the calculations of the Joint Research Center, a person would need 813 euros per month for everything he needs. But even after the twelve percent increase, the standard rate for a single adult is now only 563 euros per month.

Ricarda Lang admitted that there was no possibility of going to the theater or reading a book. Wasilewski knew from experience that drinking coffee outside was just as unacceptable. “You, dear politicians, call it welfare loss,” he criticized the “very technical debate.” But people are “hungry because citizens' money is not enough.” As a volunteer with the “soup aunties” and truck driver of the food bank, he regularly offers free meals to people. “It's a cruel disaster for people,” he added, “Especially when it comes to the lazy unemployed who don't want to work.”

Philipp Amthor: “The welfare state does not exist for everyone”

The latter was addressed to the CDU, which wants to reform the civil compensation law, which will be in effect from January 1, 2023, and rename it the “new basic security”. “The name citizen money suggests the wrong thing,” argued Philipp Amthor. “The welfare state is not for everyone,” he said. When moderator Louis Klamroth pricked up his ears, he immediately explained: the benefit is not “the benefits handed out by politicians, but as a welfare state we manage money in trust for the citizens, who in turn pay taxes.”

Therefore, according to Amthor, social benefits should go to those “who become unemployed through no fault of their own and to those who do something to get out of unemployment again” (“People like you, Mr. Wasilewksi, the welfare state is not the problem.” However, benefits should be reduced by one hundred percent for them , who refused reasonable work without an objective reason.There were a total of 13,838 such objections in the first eleven months of 2023. This corresponded to 0.8 percent of all social cases.

A dispute between Lang and Amthor

“The Federal Constitutional Court has made it clear that people cannot be permanently reset,” said Ricarda Lang. “That's wrong,” Amthor accused him of not listening or reading the prepared speech. Again and again a heated argument arose between the two. This time, Lang had more persistence: those who reject a specific job offer will already receive sanctions today: they will have to give up the civil benefit for two months, he explained. He did not like to hear that he was “not so far from the CDU proposal”, as Klamroth put it.

Saarland Prime Minister Rehlinger agreed that the traffic light coalition wants to use citizens' money to qualify people so that they can work permanently and not depend on the welfare society, “but the CDU shifts the discussion in a completely different direction. […]. The CDU said in its paper: mediate, mediate, mediate. It was a revolving door effect that nobody wanted because people weren't coming in with the necessary qualifications.

“They are working to discredit citizens' money and people on citizens' money,” Lang accused the CDU of the “wrong focus” and caused confusion again. Amthor: “No, it affects the mood of society.” Lang: “It affects sick people who get disability pensions, people who throw you in front of the bus with their attitude towards citizens' money.” Instead of turning to 13,000. objections together In Focus, 800,000 top-up people should be looked at – people who “go to work and still need a food bank”.

Entrepreneur: “Work is becoming less and less valuable”

In order to widen the gap with citizens' money and thereby make the hard work in logistics more attractive, entrepreneur Marie-Christine Ostermann has already voluntarily raised the wages of her employees by eight percent. “But we have to be able to earn it,” he noted. In addition, workers should pay nearly 42 percent of their gross salary for social benefits, he calculated. “Employees qualified abroad ask themselves why they should work here, because it is not worth working in our country.”

“The CDU could have voted to raise the minimum wage,” Lang said, taking on the opposition. He is not against tax cuts either. “I could imagine that the middle and lower income would be taxed less and in return we would be taxing large inheritances in this country,” he said. “There are only a few countries in the world that tax so much work and so little wealth,” added Rehlinger. In Germany, in many cases, not only poverty is transmitted, but also opportunities. This injustice must change.

Amthor didn't want to know anything about it: “We need a basic expectation in this country that if we want higher wages, if we want more welfare, we can't do it by handing it back and forth to anyone, but by working harder.” At the same time, he advocated that it would be easier for people with low and medium incomes to earn extra income. The representatives of the Faro government did not oppose this proposal. “It looks like it will come with the approval of the opposition,” Klamroth said cheerfully. “It depends on the overall package,” Amthor refused to demur.