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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –

Source: CDU CSU

Mister President! Dear colleagues! We are holding today’s debate on the motion of the left because some here in this House are already seeing the election campaign coming.

(Applause from Deputy Dr. Matthias Zimmer [CDU / CSU])

After all, you are, Dr. Bartsch, transparent on this point. In the application you yourself write that it is a symbolic step, i.e. pure symbolic politics.

(Contradiction at LINKE)

Diets or pensions are ideal for such symbolic politics.

(Dr. Petra Sitte [DIE LINKE]: It is a beginning! – Matthias W. Birkwald [DIE LINKE]: That is a beginning! We are taking the first step!)

I think the interim question from colleague Kurth made that very clear. In any case, this is ideal if you are indifferent to the social consequences of this populist policy and you already know that the application will be rejected.

After all, the debate also provides an occasion to publicly once again explain our very good system of parliamentary compensation and to publicly stand by it instead of comparing apples with pears. Because if we couldn’t stand by it publicly, then we would actually have to change it. The Basic Law says – and I quote -: “The members of parliament are entitled to appropriate compensation that ensures their independence.” This applies not only to the active time, but also to the time of care.

What ensures the independence of a member of parliament? This question is not easy to answer. We have also asked experts about this time and again. Most recently, a few years ago, in 2011, we set up an independent commission on questions of parliamentary law. In this commission, eleven experts discussed many questions relating to parliamentary law for around two years, including the issue in question.

The eleven experts have by no means answered and advised all questions alone. For example, you heard 13 other experts on the question of the right pension for MPs. The experts looked at the entire current spectrum of old-age insurance in Germany. It would have been good if the motion of the left had dealt with at least one sentence with these extensive deliberations.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU – Dr. Matthias Zimmer [CDU / CSU]: They didn’t read!)

Then what you have presented here would have been much more sound.

Because you did not do that, I must once again remind you of the advice given by this Independent Commission. The expert commission agreed that there must be an adequately financed pension system to ensure the independence of the MPs.

(Markus Kurth [BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN]: That works in the legal one too!)

Five commission members – almost half – have spoken out in favor of the previous approach,

(Ralf Kapschack [SPD]: And the others?)

five members voted for a model that consists of an existing old-age pension system, a supplementary pension granted by parliament and possibly self-sufficiency – the so-called modular model – and one member favored a model that relies on pure personal provision.

(Shouting from Abig. Dr. Wolfgang Strengmann-Kuhn [BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN])

However, the Commission unanimously describes the problem with a model other than the current one very clearly. Here I can quote from the report:

A reasonable increase in the basic allowance may be necessary in order to give MPs a financial margin for their own provision.

In any case, we do not consider increasing the diet to be the right way to solve this problem. You are hiding that from the left in your application.

(Matthias W. Birkwald [DIE LINKE]: Great applause from the Union faction!)

Our current system of old-age compensation ensures that the requirements for safeguarding independence are guaranteed by being linked to the respective amount of the diet, and we do not have to increase the diets due to a possible change in the system. The path of the left, on the other hand, would require a four-digit increase in diets.

(Dr. Dietmar Bartsch [DIE LINKE]: No!)

We are one year before the general election. Everywhere in Germany citizens are considering whether they want to quit their job for a while and run for the Bundestag. It must be possible for as many citizens as possible to make a decision to run for a candidate, to take on or to give up a mandate without financial disadvantages and independently of financial worries and considerations. We alone have to ensure that here. That is why I also believe that the system we have now is appropriate, correct and good.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU)

Finally, briefly on the FDP bill. With its draft law, the FDP wants, among other things, to reverse a legal regulation that was only tightened by the grand coalition in 2008. Until then, ministers had a pension entitlement after two years. At that time, we increased this minimum period to four years. Because we have increased this minimum time, we had to introduce compensation for exceptional cases, for example if a minister was unable to remain in office for a full term through no fault of his own due to the premature dissolution of the Bundestag.

(Konstantin Kuhle [FDP]: But that also applies to “debt”!)

We do not consider the emergence of claims after two years to be justifiable and our regulation for exceptional cases is still appropriate. Therefore we will reject this bill.

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