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Federal Ministry of Finance in Berlin: Between 25 and 30 billion euros needed for consolidation

Photo: Florian Gaertner / photothek / picture alliance / dpa

When drawing up the budget for 2025, Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) is relying on a strategy of escalating pressure on the other departments. This will begin with a meeting of state secretaries on Thursday next week.

Lindner's new budget state secretary, Wolf Reuter, will explain the dramatic financial situation of the federal government to his colleagues from the other ministries responsible for the budget and convince them to take a tougher austerity course.

No relief from the economy

As things stand, the federal budget is missing between 25 and 30 billion euros.

Relief is not to be expected, as an in-house tax estimate from the Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF) showed.

The persistently weak economy is now having an impact on tax revenues.

The gap must therefore be closed through savings, says the BMF.

There are a number of ways to do this.

In this way, the savings volume could be distributed equally among the coalition partners.

The SPD, Greens and FDP would each have to raise a third of the amount in their ministries.

However, it is also conceivable that the departments make cuts according to their size.

The project becomes more difficult the more expenses are excluded from the outset.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has already declared the defense budget and social spending sacrosanct.

Lindner wants to cap the departments' spending

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Unlike in previous years, Lindner wants to impose spending caps on individual ministries this time.

The procedure boils down to an allocation of money by the BMF.

In the past, the departments could still register their wishes.

This should be over now.

It remains questionable whether Lindner's colleagues will stick to it.

At the state secretaries' meeting, the ministries will not find out how much money they will receive.

You will then be informed of this by letter.

Lindner wants to ensure that the houses remain in the dark about what the others are getting.

The process of pushing the budget through from top to bottom only works if the finance minister enjoys the backing of the Chancellor.

In fact, preparatory discussions are already scheduled to take place between Lindner, Scholz and Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck (Greens).