Let's get to the big political quiz. Who claimed that the increase in citizen allowances of more than 12 percent on January 1 “was wrong from today's perspective, in retrospect”?

And who probably said the following about the gap between state support and earned income, which is often criticized as too small: “You always have to make sure that people who work get much more benefit than people who don't work ” go to work”?

Precisely Esken's party colleague is responsible for the citizens' money

Saskia Esken, the co-president of the SPD, who is always ready to polemically attack the CDU/CSU opposition, would no doubt immediately guess opposition leader Friedrich Merz or CDU general secretary Carsten Linnemann. Some economists or representatives of business associations could also be suspects.

But not everything that green and left politicians are quick to attribute to heartless neoliberals comes from there. The most recent criticism of citizens' money comes from one of Esken's party comrades, Brandenburg Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke. He is probably not suspected of playing the song of greedy managers.

Woidke, whose SPD is ten percentage points behind the AfD in current polls, went even further than Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner in an interview with Deutschlandfunk. The Liberal had hinted at the possibility that after two increases totaling 25 per cent, citizen benefit recipients would have to prepare for a round of zero next year.

Woidke on citizens' money: “Maybe there will even be a cut”

On the other hand, the head of the Brandenburg Government even considers that a cut is not ruled out. Woidke: “The next increases will be smaller; Maybe there will even be a cut.” A cut in citizen benefits on January 1, 2025? Not even the opposition has asked for it yet.

From Esken's point of view, the CDU/CSU's criticism of citizens' money is “extremely dangerous for social cohesion.” Just as the “Friedrich Merz CDU” debates citizens' money, they are pitting people against each other. He said it two months ago at the SPD conference. And his colleagues applauded this frontal attack on the opposition.

Esken can no longer corner critics of citizens' money

Woidke logically justified the possibility of a reduction in citizens' benefits. With the sharp increase earlier this year, the government assumed significantly higher inflation rates. This was a “strategic error.” Therefore, the “anticipation” of excessive price increases is “guaranteed to be taken into account next time.”

Will Esken now, like Merz, accuse Comrade Woidke of “pitting people against each other”? Will you confirm that the SPD will in no case “save the poorest”?

There is one thing that Esken and his comrades can no longer do: bring critics of citizens' money closer to the partly far-right AfD, as they like to do with Union politicians. His comrade Woidke would oppose this, and rightly so.