Zoom Image

Family Minister Lisa Paus (Greens): State benefits from child benefit to citizen's allowance to child allowance should be bundled

Photo: Bernd Elmenthaler / IMAGO

After months of controversy, the German government has decided on its central project to combat child poverty. The cabinet approved the bill by Family Minister Lisa Paus for a basic child benefit. The next step is to discuss the draft in the Bundestag. According to the SPD, a subsequent adoption in the Bundesrat is not planned until February 2, 2024.

In the future, child benefit, benefits from the citizen's allowance for children and the child allowance are to be bundled. More clarity and a central platform are also intended to reach families who have not yet been able to access the money to which they are entitled due due to ignorance or bureaucratic hurdles. Green politician Paus expects the costs to increase to six billion euros by 2028, more than doubling because more families will take advantage of the benefits.

In recent weeks, the project has repeatedly caused a stir in the traffic light coalition. In particular, Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) and Family Minister Lisa Paus (Greens) argued about the financing, at the end of August they finally agreed. In the year of its introduction in 2025, the traffic light is now initially estimating around 2.4 billion euros in additional costs.

Federal Agency: Basic child benefit can be introduced "in the course" of 2025

The Federal Employment Agency (BA) considers a start of the basic child benefit sometime in 2025 to be feasible. "If the planned adoption at the beginning of next year remains, we can start with the gradual introduction in the course of 2025," said Vanessa Ahuja, the BA board member responsible for family matters. The time is needed, for example, to program the complex IT solutions required for this.

"The OAG is well-versed in implementing complex legislative projects. We can handle this major task, but we need sufficient lead time from the time of approval by the Bundestag and Bundesrat," said Ahuja. She assured that she wanted to accompany the further steps until the adoption in the Bundestag and the Bundesrat with full force. The BA had previously criticized the schedule of Family Minister Paus.

Federal Minister for Family Affairs Lisa Paus (Greens) is more optimistic and wants to ensure a start on January 1, 2025. Most recently, the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) had criticized the planned abolition of the immediate supplement for refugee children as part of the basic child benefit. This was "as irresponsible as it was cynical," it said, and could lead to social collateral damage.