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Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens), Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP)

Photo: Kay Nietfeld / dpa

Following the agreement in the budget dispute, the German government has lifted a freeze on financial commitments for coming years in the 2023 budget. This emerges from a letter from Finance State Secretary Steffen Saebisch to the other ministries, which was available to the German Press Agency.

In mid-November, in connection with the budget ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court, the Federal Ministry of Finance had stopped the so-called commitment appropriations "in order to avoid pre-burdens for future years," as it was said at the time. This had an impact on the budgets of all ministries. A commitment appropriation gives an administration the opportunity to enter into payment commitments for future years, for example in the case of multiannual projects. Current editions this year were not affected.

The letter from the State Secretary of Finance goes on to say that agreements made in the meantime between the individual ministries and the Ministry of Finance on the block will be retained. The savings agreed on a case-by-case basis are to be implemented. "Irrespective of this, the Federal Ministry of Finance recommends that commitment appropriations be used as sparingly as possible in view of the overall budgetary situation and the coming financial years."

The Constitutional Court had cut the German government 60 billion euros from the KTF climate fund because the transfer of unused corona loans there was unconstitutional. The traffic light now lacks the money. On Friday, the Bundestag and Bundesrat are to decide on consequences for the 2023 budget. With a supplementary budget, 60 billion euros will be removed from the KTF reserve. For other special funds of the government, in particular the Energy Crisis Fund WSF, new loans totalling 44.8 billion euros must be taken out. To this end, the debt brake enshrined in the Basic Law must be suspended again for the fourth year in a row.