Annie Will | SPD vice Kuhnert criticizes CDU vice for citizen finance plan


Overwhelming social reform or wrong incentives? CDU Vice Kirsten Linnemann explains in “An Will” why the union is fighting the government’s citizen finance plan.


  • Kevin Kuhnert, SPD general secretary
  • Katja Kipping (at die link), Berlin’s labor and social affairs senator
  • Kirsten Linnemann, Deputy CDU Chairman
  • Clemens Fuest, President of the Ifo Institute
  • Nelle Thonessen, Social Worker

Great social and political hopes rest on the Citizens Allowance envisioned by the Traffic Light Coalition. While victims expect an urgent need for inflation adjustment, the SPD expects fundamental revisions to the Hertz Act from innovation planned for January.

“The problem is that the SPD agenda wants to roll back the 2010 reforms,” ​​said CDU Vice President Kirsten Linnemann on Ann Will’s talk show “Less pressure, more money – is the income for new citizens fair?” To the social democrats. They wanted to abandon the policy of propaganda and demands contained in the actions of then SPD Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and to abandon the possibility of sanctions. “It’s like a football game without yellow and red cards. You lose acceptance,” complained the conservative on ARD on Sunday evening.

In the previous Hertz IV system, only three percent of benefit recipients were penalized for dropping out or refusing, SPD general secretary Kevin Kuhnert protested against Linnemann. “They are willing to admit that out of 100 unemployed people the other 97 are portrayed as listless idiots who don’t want to try,” the SPD politician accused his fellow CDU panelists. Kuhnert’s conclusion: “You want to make a cheap political point.”

Left-wing politician Katja Kipping also had some criticism of Linnemann’s position. His team strives for a negative dynamic and stigmatizes victims and their children. “Unions stick to the cardboard mates of the supposedly lazy unemployed like climate glue to asphalt. And that’s destructive,” was Kipping’s verdict.

Left-wing politician Kipping warned against making concessions to the SPD

The Berlin Senator for Labor and Social Affairs warned the SPD not to go too far in acceding to the CDU/CSU’s demands for changes to the allowances of draft citizens. “We’ve said now that what the traffic lights suggest is not enough for us, but we don’t want to stop this small improvement,” Kipping said. However, if the union removes measures to cut bureaucracy and social security, the left in the Bundesrat will look closely at the matter.

Federal government problem: Without the support of the Bundesrat’s union-led states, the citizens’ income will not come. During his TV appearance, Linman reiterated his party’s position that approval is subject to adjustment. “We have a different mentality than Mrs. Keeping,” noted the chairman of the CDU’s Program and Policy Committee.

Union is about personal responsibility, without which the future cannot be won. “Somehow a whole broader mindset is emerging,” said the Christian Democrat, referring to the government’s plans and changes in political culture. “Money doesn’t fall from the sky, and we have to do the work ourselves. And that’s what we’re counting on, and when the traffic lights are ready, we’ll join,” Linnemann summarized the CDU position.

Despite everything, SPD representative Kuhnert did not want to accept that the initial situation was “a kind of dilemma”, as moderator Ann Will called it. “It’s democracy,” he offered as an explanation instead.

Top economists try to mediate

Clemens Fuest assumed a general moderator role in the panel discussion. The Ifo boss regretted that the debate had become so polarised. “There are some smart things about the National Income Reform and there are some bad things about it,” explained the economist. Fuest admits the biggest shortcoming is that the core problem of the old system with additional income opportunities has not been addressed. “The rules of crediting are such that you basically have a strong incentive to do little,” the economist put his criticism into concrete terms and spoke of the “low-income trap.”


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