Post sponsored by

MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –

Source: CDU CSU

Mister President! Dear colleagues! In closing the debate, it is important for me to emphasize one thing: we are talking about a very sensitive topic. Determining how much money will cover the subsistence level is a difficult decision.

(Matthias W. Birkwald [DIE LINKE]: Just take the poverty line!)

It is a difficult choice because we have to debate adequacy. We have to weigh up, we have to make value decisions and not count down, Ms. Kipping, as you said.

(Shout from the LEFT: Of course! – Matthias W. Birkwald [DIE LINKE]: Be generous!)

And it’s difficult, also from a human point of view, because all of us sitting here are top earners. As top earners, we decide how much money the economically weakest in our country have to get by with. That is a democratic challenge. That is what we are facing in this public debate, and that is a good thing.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU)

The FDP’s proposal is all the more disappointing because you are evading this task. There are many good points in your application regarding the reform of SGB II. We would certainly have been able to implement some of them if you hadn’t got cold feet in 2017.

(Dr. Florian Toncar [FDP]: Everything and much more!)

But what really annoys me, Mr. Kober, is that in this debate you are just saying a half-sentence about whether you think the level of Hartz IV is correct and why you find it correct. I would have expected a little more from you.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU)

I would like to outline the basic balancing processes and also say where the difference lies in this House. We argue about what the right method is. Today we are hearing again, especially from the left, that we are not giving the poorest people the money; at the same time, you emphasize that you like to fight for more money. I believe that it is exactly the other way round: You make a very cool calculation using a statistical variable, namely the median income, and use this to calculate the poverty line. You care, nothing else.

(Matthias W. Birkwald [DIE LINKE]: No, we are assuming the bottom 20 percent!)

On the other hand, with our EVS we take a very close look at how people spend their money, what they spend it on and how they consume. We take a look at the reality of life in this country, ladies and gentlemen.

Vice President Wolfgang Kubicki:

Mr Whittaker, would you allow Mrs Kipping to ask a question in the Left Group?

Kai Whittaker (CDU / CSU):

Gladly. I also promise not to triple my speaking time.

Vice President Wolfgang Kubicki:

I wouldn’t say so easily now. You don’t even know what Mrs. Kipping is trying to ask.

Katja Kipping (DIE LINKE):

Thank you, Mr Whittaker, for allowing the question. – You have just made an assumption as to how we came up with our standard rate of 658 euros.

(Peter Weiß [Emmendingen] [CDU / CSU]: A rule of thumb!)

I wanted to ask you whether you are willing to take note that we have done the following: We asked the Federal Statistical Office for the data for the bottom 20 percent of the income hierarchy. We then decided not to make any discounts. You have to decide: Either you use a shopping cart model with the corresponding specifications, or you say: We really only start from the spending behavior of the poorest. That has been our approach, a clear and clean process.

If you use the figures from the Federal Statistical Office for the bottom 20 percent, you get this sum. Other sizes could have been used as a basis. We only took out top-ups with an income of no more than 100 euros.

Technically, we could have justified completely different sums,

(Dr. Matthias Zimmer [CDU / CSU]: I think so!)

but we made a conscious decision in favor of 658 euros after weighing up the financial feasibility and the figures provided by the Federal Statistical Office. Are you ready to take note?

(Applause from the LEFT)

Kai Whittaker (CDU / CSU):

Ms. Kipping, I have not criticized a single word for using incorrect or incorrect figures, I have simply criticized the way in which you then continue to calculate and which values ​​you weigh up. This is the difference between the Left and the Union.

(Matthias W. Birkwald [DIE LINKE]: We don’t do anything! You make the weighing up! – Sven Lehmann [BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN]: The federal government makes the weighing up!)

That is exactly the point that I have tried to make clear. In the course of my speech I will take up two other points to make this clear to you.

(Susanne Ferschl [DIE LINKE]: That is a very vague speech!)

The second point of contention is to what extent we will continue to increase services in the future. We have agreed in the EVS that the Hartz IV rates will increase every year based on a mix of price increases and wage developments. In doing so, we not only look at the SGB II benefit recipients, but also and especially at the low and middle earners, whom we must not lose sight of either. Because I do not want, because the Hartz IV rates rise very quickly, the low and middle earners fall through the back door as top-ups in Hartz IV;

(Matthias W. Birkwald [DIE LINKE]: You can then raise the statutory minimum wage to 12 euros!)

because that would devalue work, and we as a Union will oppose it, ladies and gentlemen.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU – shout from the LEFT: cardboard comrades!)

The third point of contention is what the SGB II is actually for. Here is perhaps the most essential difference between us: For us as Christian Democrats, work is more than just a living. Man draws his dignity and self-development from work.

(Matthias W. Birkwald [DIE LINKE]: This is from Karl Marx!)

For us, work should be the normal condition for an adult, not unemployment. Unemployment should and must always remain the exception. But if this exceptional case occurs, it is the duty of society to stand up here and help over this situation with a bridge. In SGB II we have geared everything towards the goal of getting people back into work so that they can cross this bridge. They want it to make no difference in lifestyle whether you work or not work.

(Katja Kipping [DIE LINKE]: We want higher wages!)

I think that’s unfair to everyone who has a job, and incidentally also to everyone who has worked hard out of unemployment. In this way you devalue work economically and thus also humanly. That is the difference: you on the left want to manage unemployment, we want to create jobs in our country. That is the difference.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU – Matthias W. Birkwald [DIE LINKE]: With 7 million people affected? That doesn’t work in front and behind!)

Vice President Wolfgang Kubicki:

Mr Whittaker, just a moment, please. – I would ask the colleague from the CDU / CSU parliamentary group, who is currently busy with his cell phone, to put on the mask. This is still a friendly hint. This will soon be given a call to order.

Mr Whittaker, I stopped time. You still have the floor. Excuse me.

Kai Whittaker (CDU / CSU):

Thank you very much, Mr President. – I would like to conclude and give an outlook on what we still have to do now. If you really want to work against poverty, if you really want to fight poverty sustainably and permanently, then the best means is jobs. That is why we are well advised to make wise economic policy in this House.

(Matthias W. Birkwald [DIE LINKE]: Wrong! Precarious work doesn’t do anything!)

We are also well advised not to see employers as opponents of politics, but as partners if we want to achieve full employment in this country.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU)

That is our job here in the German Bundestag, so that we can actually have these jobs, so that we can place unemployed people there and open up new prospects for them.

We also have to talk about whether the job centers are capable of this; in fact, I have my doubts. They do a good job, but it could be better because it takes too many people to figure out complicated benefit rates to get the correct salary in the account at the end of the month. It’s complicated bureaucracy. We need more generalized services so that more individual advice is possible so that people can be put back into work.

(Matthias W. Birkwald [DIE LINKE]: Then please agree to our application! It’s all in our application!)

That is the difference.

Incidentally, we also have a little disagreement with the Social Democrats. To be honest, I would like us to agree on what we also did with the Participation Opportunities Act, namely to improve job placement through coaching. Nowhere have we been as successful as with the Participation Opportunities Act. That shows that it works. That is why I also appeal to the SPD to move and finally to make progress with the generalizations in benefit law, so that we can give people in this country a perspective.

Thank you very much.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU)


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

MIL Translation OSI