In the social package: Hartz IV access without hurdles, extra child benefit, tenant protection. It's possible, Bundestag!
With all swearing about the corona pandemic and its effects: The current exceptional situation is also a blessing. Does it make an often criticized and ridiculed German relic shine: the welfare state. The principle of the welfare state anchored in the Basic Law gains in value in the crisis and proves to be the basis and link to stabilize society and mitigate the consequences for people.
In Germany there were no queues in front of arms shops, nobody, except for a few right-wing preppers, considers it necessary to stock up on possible thieves and looters with rifles and ammunition, as is common in the USA. The Germans at most hoard toilet paper and otherwise trust the state.
And it is actually there and proves that not only banks are helped, but also citizens are saved from the bottomless fall. The rescue package passed at high speed in the Bundestag on Wednesday contains not only credit guarantees for companies and billions in aid for hospitals, but also a thick social protection package. People who are suddenly without income can apply for basic security from Monday without disclosing their savings or having to prove that their home is cramped and cheap enough. Families in need can apply for a child supplement online, the emergency KIZ, landlords are not allowed to terminate their tenants because of crisis-related rent debts.
Of course, there is still room for improvement – for example, the standard rate for Hartz IV recipients in the amount of 432 euros in times of homeschooling and closed boards should turn out to be too low. Nevertheless: Politicians have just decided on social benefits with unprecedented unanimity. Claims that have been made on the left for years, such as refraining from performing complex property checks for the needy, are suddenly waved through without a twitch. Even FDP chief Christian Lindner now sees “the hour of the state”. Hardly ever was there so much talk of solidarity and “we-feeling” in the Bundestag.
How much these noble words are worth will only become clear when the pandemic is under control and the question arises who actually pays the bill. In terms of solidarity, the billions in debt that the finance minister is now taking up must also be shouldered fairly. Taxes for the wealthy, heirs and stock speculators should go without saying in the sense of solidarity. Let's see.