The Bundestag has started the debate on the draft budget for 2020. Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) plans spending of almost € 360 billion, with emphasis on work and social issues, as well as relief for low-income families.
In his speech, Scholz emphasized the importance of the cohesion of society in Germany. "Cohesion is the most important task for the future," he said. Only in this way is a society immune to the "turmoil of nationalism and right-wing populism".
Scholz referred to the planned relief for lower and middle income families. "It's about affordable and customizable life for families in this country, and it's also about cohesion." The new federal budget will get along again without new debt - despite a weakening economy.
Costs for climate protection are missing
So far, however, the budget lacks climate protection expenditures, which the German government wants to resolve on 20 September. There are demands that new debts should be taken up for this - but Scholz and Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) have always rejected this. It is the first time that a finance minister has introduced unfinished budget planning into the Bundestag.
For almost a week, MEPs will now discuss the budgets of the individual ministries in the Bundestag. In doing so, they count on benchmarks that may later - once it is clear how much money has to be planned for climate protection - have to be completely corrected again. According to Scholz, the money for climate protection measures is to be financed mainly from the Energy and Climate Fund. But the ideas such as cheaper train tickets, a scrapping premium for oil heating, compensation for higher energy taxes, add up to about 50 billion euros, according to Economy Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU). This is much more than the fund gives, even if not everything is implemented and the rest is spread over years.
Scholz will have to rebuild his household after 20 September so again. Already this year, he had had to calculate very accurately and plan for reserves to be able to hold the black zero.