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Lindner’s plans for the 2022 budget – economics

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This Wednesday, the cabinet will adopt the key points for the 2022 budget. But it is already clear: the figures of the Federal Minister of Finance Christian Lindner (FDP) will already be a waste, at least in part, by now. Because Lindner has managed in recent weeks to reduce the record wishes of the other departments to a level compatible with his planning. However, the disruptions that the war in Ukraine will also bring to citizens and businesses in Germany have by no means been discounted.

The reliefs decided at the end of February are already included, for example in the case of the commuter subsidy. Also taken into account is 1.5 billion euros for gas reserves, as well as an extra 1 billion for humanitarian aid. But Lindner himself made it clear Monday that none of that would be enough. For example, he suggested a temporary discount on tanks, which alone could cost a billion euros a month. He also mentioned aid for heating oil, a higher one-time payment for Hartz IV beneficiaries and more money to help refugees from Ukraine.

In order for budget deliberations in Parliament to start despite these uncertainties, the Ministry of Finance relies on a little-used instrument: a “supplementary budget”. Planned spending to cushion the consequences of the war will be included in it and will ultimately be decided along with the 2022 budget bill. While this package is still vague, the cornerstones of the core budget are now on the table. . From circles of the Ministry of Finance it was said this Monday that Lindner foresees new debts for 99,700 million euros this year. By how many billions will the supplementary budget increase the new debt remains open. “We’re driving on sight,” he said.

Next year, despite everything, the debt brake should come back into force, which would limit admissible net debt to a maximum of 7,500 million euros. According to the key points, 10.6 billion euros would be possible in 2024, 11.8 billion in 2025 and 13.7 billion in 2026.

High annual investments of around 51,000 million euros are expected for the coming years

Compared to the first draft of the budget, which dates back to the previous government, the basic budget has added a good 24 billion euros in additional charges to fight the pandemic, for example for the purchase of vaccines. The failed benefit of the Bundesbank also has an impact of minus 2.5 billion euros. On the other hand, tax revenues were better and not all the aid that had been planned, for example for the labor market, actually had to be delivered. As a result, the new debt of 99.7 billion euros is maintained.

The plans for the coming years are for high annual investments of around 51,000 million euros. In 2019 it was only a good 38 billion euros. A good €20 billion will flow into traffic by 2026, most of it in rail traffic. A significant increase is also planned for the construction department; this year alone two billion euros for social housing, twice as much as in the two previous years. In 2026 it should be 3.5 billion. The family ministry will also receive an additional €1.7 billion at the end of the funding period; the budget for the department of education will increase by more than four billion.

A special case is the department of Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD). In response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the government decided on a change in security policy and a special fund of 100 billion euros for the Bundeswehr, secured in the Basic Law. In addition, Lambrecht’s individual budget will also be increased. €50.3 billion is forecast for this year, and should continue at this level for years to come. Along with the outflows from the special fund, Germany wants to meet NATO’s target of two percent of its economic output for defense. The Greens, in particular, would like to broaden the concept of security and thus also use the new source of money to pay for investments in humanitarian aid or diplomacy. But Lindner stressed Monday that the funds can only be used for purposes “that serve to achieve the objective of NATO.”

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