IMMIGRATION, CLIMATE, COAL, PENSION, SPEED LIMIT: This is how the so-called “Ampel Duetschland” coalition government will turn Germany upside down
All eyes are on Berlin!
After five days of “in-depth exploration”, the delegations from the SPD, Greens and FDP agreed to start coalition negotiations on Tuesday. The SPD federal executive already agreed yesterday. A small party congress of the Greens is to approve the twelve-page exploratory result on Sunday. The party executive and parliamentary group of the FDP want to decide on Monday.
Find out what the German coalition partners are planning – and which party prevailed best on which topic …
1. German pensions
The pension remains stable at 48 percent of average earnings. The traffic light promises: “There will be no cuts in pensions and no increase in the statutory retirement age.”
New: For the restructuring of the pension fund, a federal grant of 10 billion euros is to be invested in shares for the first time in 2022 in order to stabilize pensions.
Policy winner: SPD, Greens, FDP
2. Taxes / Finances
Clear announcement: “We will not introduce any new taxes on assets or increase taxes such as income, company or value added tax.” THAT means the end of the red and green plans for “wealthy” or “wealth tax”. The words do not appear anywhere in the paper, the FDP does not go along with it.
Necessary additional expenditure (climate!) Should instead be financed by removing “superfluous, ineffective and environmentally and climate-damaging subsidies”.
The President of the Taxpayers’ Association, Reiner Holznagel (45), on BILD: “No tax increases, compliance with the debt brake – this is going in the right direction. But at the same time, the traffic light coalition will not be able to avoid austerity packages in the budget. These austerity packages are a must, because otherwise the necessary state investments cannot be financed.”
Policy winner: FDP
3. Climate protection
Germany should “ideally” (not necessarily) phase out coal-fired power generation by 2030 – that would be at least eight years earlier than previously planned. In order to guarantee replacement by solar, wind and water power, approval procedures are to be accelerated “considerably”. Solar cells should be placed on all suitable roofs (mandatory for new commercial buildings).
In addition, the traffic light relies on hydrogen gas power plants. Car traffic: combustion engines that can fill up with environmentally friendly e-fuels (synthetic fuels) should stay.
Policy winner: Greens, FDP
4. Tempo 130
“There will be no general speed limit,” it says clearly in the exploratory paper.
This means that a central Green idea has failed.
Policy winner: FDP
5. Minimum wage
The increase in the lower wage limit (12 euros / hour) will come – but only “once”. The minimum wage commission (made up of representatives from trade unions and employers) then decides on further increases.
Mini-jobbers should be able to earn 520 euros tax-free in the future (previously 450 euros). The earnings limit for midi jobs (reduced social security contributions) is to rise from 1,300 to 1,600 euros.
Policy winner: SPD, Greens
6. Hartz IV benefits
Hartz IV benefits remains, but will be called “Bürgergeld” in the future. Applications can also be submitted digitally. The obligation to accept jobs, to complete further education / training remains.
Recipients are allowed to earn more to make it easier to return to work.
Policy winner: SPD, FDP,Greens
Those who are integrated and can support themselves through work should “be able to obtain legally secure residence status more quickly”. In other words, naturalization should be made easier for this group of people, and the “lane change” from the asylum procedure to permanent residence status should be simplified.
Skilled workers should also be able to obtain a visa via a “points system”. Model: Canada (recognition of training, naturalization test, needs in the labor market).
Policy winner: SPD, FDP, Greens