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Budget politician Fricke: draft budget before the summer break

Photo: Bernd von Jutrczenka / dpa

The budget policy spokesman of the FDP parliamentary group, Otto Fricke, calls for a debate on cuts in the upcoming federal budget, including in statutory benefits. "Spending, performance laws, subsidies – there must be no taboos in consolidation," Fricke told the Rheinische Post. Drawing red lines does not get us anywhere. Of course, there is the option of a budget accompanying law, which includes the reduction of statutory benefits." After 16 years of CDU-led government, expenditures would be found that a traffic light coalition could do without, said the FDP politician.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz considers compliance with the debt brake in the draft budget for 2024 to be feasible. "Due to the consequences of the corona pandemic and the Russian attack on Ukraine, an additional 800 billion euros have been spent to get citizens and the economy through these difficult times in one piece. The challenge we are now facing is therefore not small, but it can be achieved," the SPD politician told the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger. How exactly we do this, we are now discussing carefully in the government."

The Federal Chancellor said that he saw no basis for a renewed suspension of the debt brake or for a broadening of the government's revenue side.

Tax increases not excluded

Budget politician Fricke was also indirectly open to tax increases. "If there are proposals from the Greens for additional tax revenues, we will also talk about it."

In the traffic light government, there is still a fierce dispute about which ministries will have to save how much in the coming year. In view of the tense financial situation, the federal government is forced to set priorities in the budget in order to comply with the debt brake, Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) emphasized again and again.

He had announced that he would not be able to submit his draft budget for 2024 to the cabinet on June 21 as planned. The SPD chief budgeter, Dennis Rohde, pushed for a cabinet decision before the Bundestag holidays. "I assume that the federal budget will be decided in the cabinet in the first week of July, i.e. before the parliamentary summer recess," the newspaper quoted him as saying. FDP chief housekeeper Fricke said: "All knowledgeable parliamentarians expect the cabinet decision on the budget by July 5 at the latest. For us housekeepers, it is simply important that we know the basic structure of the budget before the summer break and that we can work through it during the so-called summer break."