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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –

Source: CDU CSU

Dear Mr President! Dear Ladies and Gentlemen! Dear Colleagues! A year ago, thanks in part to the successful economic and labor market policy of the grand coalition, we were looking at excellent key data: Unemployment had fallen by a third, millions of new jobs subject to social security contributions were created and gross wages rose by more than a quarter.

The spread of the Covid-19 virus at the end of last year and the development of the pandemic represent a turning point for all of us. The state and all citizens have not been as challenged as they are today for a long time. The Bundestag acted quickly so that those affected can be helped quickly. The administrations of the federal government and the 16 federal states as well as the cities and municipalities have been working flat out since March this year to ensure that the aid can be applied for on site and that the recipients can be reached immediately. My thanks, as well as those of the previous speaker Kerstin Tack and previous speakers, also go to the employees of the employment agencies, who ensured that social benefits continued to be paid on time and that the applications for short-time allowance were processed efficiently despite all the circumstances.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU and delegates Kerstin Tack [SPD] and Matthias W. Birkwald [DIE LINKE])

The Employment Agency pays the short-time work allowance as partial compensation for the wages lost due to a temporary absence from work. This relieves the employer of the costs of employing the employees. In this way, companies can continue to employ their staff in the event of a loss of orders. The short-time work allowance helps to avoid redundancies and is one of the most important labor market policy measures in this crisis.

With the social protection package I and II we have made further relief. A company can apply for short-time work earlier, and temporary workers can receive short-time work allowance. The social security contributions that employers alone have to pay for their short-time employees are reimbursed by the Federal Employment Agency in a flat-rate form. We have introduced an improvement for employees whose wages are reduced by at least half: the short-time allowance has been increased significantly for them.

(Peter Weiß [Emmendingen] [CDU / CSU]: Right!)

Employees can also complete further training during short-time work and are supported by grants. These measures help to stabilize the labor market and prevent unemployment. You are a bridge to the time of economic recovery, Ms. Schielke-Ziesing.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU and members of the SPD)

In addition, we have made it easier for jobseekers to access basic income support and access to social assistance.

The present draft budget is understandably also under the sign of the corona pandemic. The budget of the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, the largest budget in the federal budget, is expected to increase from the originally planned 150 billion euros to 164 billion euros; Fortunately, less than the corona-related supplementary budget for 2020 had planned.

Vice President Thomas Oppermann:

Ms. Lezius, would you permit my colleague Bystron to ask an interim question?

Antje Lezius (CDU / CSU):

No, I would like to continue. – The biggest item is the pension. 106 billion euros are accounted for by pension insurance benefits and around 8.3 billion euros for the federal government’s contribution to basic security in old age and reduced earning capacity. This is how we relieve the municipalities. The benefits according to the Second and Third Book of the Social Code also make up a large proportion. In addition to the funds from the Federal Employment Agency, the federal government provides 48 billion euros for labor market policy services and programs. Of this, 44 billion euros go to basic security benefits for job seekers. This includes expenditures of 23.4 billion euros for unemployment benefit II. 11 billion euros are planned for the federal government’s contribution to the benefits for accommodation and heating and 5 billion euros for benefits for integration into work. This means that consistently high amounts are available for the flexible and needs-oriented use of labor market policy instruments and for tailor-made support.

A smaller item is also important to me – it has already been mentioned today – which will hopefully have a major impact: the means to introduce the digital pension overview. In the future, citizens should be able to access individual information about their pension entitlements on an internet-based portal. In 2021, 6 million euros are estimated for this. We are thus implementing a project from the coalition agreement that will provide citizens with a better overview of their future earnings.

A total of 78 million euros are available for the implementation of the AI ​​strategy for the years 2021 to 2024. The funds are used to develop and apply artificial intelligence in the world of work.

Dear Sir or Madam, The draft budget reflects the effects of the corona pandemic on the economy and the labor market. The latest figures from September already show slight signs of improvement. The latest economic outlook is also more positive again. If economic output increases by 3.2 percent in the next year, as forecast, the number of unemployed is expected to fall by around 100,000 on an annual average, according to an IAB study.

It is then also important to get out of short-time work as soon as possible. The successful measure does not serve to secure the standard of living; its primary purpose is to ensure the survival of companies in a crisis and thus to avoid unemployment. Deadweight effects are ultimately at the expense of the contributors. Wherever short-time work is still necessary, the time freed up should be used for further training if possible. Funding options are available for this. Because then the crisis can actually turn into an opportunity.

Dear Sir or Madam, The world of work is subject to constant change. It is the task of all of us to shape this change. The corona pandemic presented us with completely new challenges within days and weeks. Millions of employees have switched to a more digital form of work, often from home, in a very short time. Millions of employees have had and still have to get by on less money. Job seekers have a harder time finding a job. The beginning of the training is connected with imponderables. The fact that it was nevertheless possible to cushion the greatest hardships and secure employment shows that Germany is an efficient welfare state.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU and members of the SPD)

Especially in times of crisis, the good economic activity of recent years gives us room to maneuver, and our solidarity security systems ensure mutual support. The 2021 draft budget shows that we are continuing on this path.

Many Thanks.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU and members of the SPD)


EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

MIL Translation OSI