Germany is to make in debt again?


The Bundestag debate on the draft budget in 2020. However, a large Item is still missing: the cost of climate protection – it could be billions. From Berlin, Sabine Kinkartz.

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (with the Chancellor in the Bundestag) has a large gap in the budget

At first glance, everything is as always: After ten weeks of the summer break, the Bundestag, has taken up with a debate on the draft budget for its work. The Minister of Finance, so Olaf Scholz, has been presented in a 45-minute speech, his plans for the budget in 2020. Thus, the political dispute is opened, the will to dominate this week the plenary session and in the next few months, the parliamentary committees is decisive. Until the end of November, it will become clear what is allowed to spend the state at the Federal level in the coming year and for what.

The key features of the draft budget are quickly called: expenditure in the amount of around EUR 360 billion of revenue in the same amount. Every second Euro is spend for social Affairs, mainly for pension payments, health insurance, and family support. 40 billion euros are earmarked for investment, for example, for the construction of roads, bridges and rails, but also for the Expansion of the digital network.

More money for the Bundeswehr

For the defense, six billion euros are planned to be more to the NATO-ratio, which measures the share of defense expenditure to the gross domestic product (GDP) may rise to 1.37 percent. In Parallel, the funding for development aid increase to a little more than ten billion euros. The ODA-ratio, which measures the appropriations for public development cooperation, which is at 0.51 percent of GDP. This is a record level, – stated in the Ministry of Finance. All the international commitments could be met.

The Bundeswehr is to get more money

But actually debate anything other than clarity in the current budget. For the first Time in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany the Minister of Finance has presented a draft budget that is not completed. A Central Post is missing. It is the cost for the big climate change law the Federal government on the 20. September to present. You count all of the ideas together, which could find entrance in the law, can easily amount to 30 billion Euro.

Who should pay?

The opposition parties in Parliament are outraged. The AfD-budget expert Peter Boehringer speaks of a “parliamentary disgrace”. Also, the green budget expert Sven-Christian Kindler criticized, without taking into account the climate decisions of the household to remain just a “piece of work” and was “highly dangerous”.

What is the German citizens say to climate protection?

The government parties can not shake. It remain enough of time, the additional cost to incorporate and discuss, it means appeasing of the SPD. The German Finance Minister, Olaf Scholz, announced that although no specific Figures, but leaves no doubt that it will be expensive. “We are not going to come up with small measures,” he says, and summons a “national consensus across party lines”. It was five before twelve.

The “black Zero” and the climate

“We must act now,” says Scholz. The would expect the citizens of the government and the Parliament “to the right”. “The task of the man-made climate change, and to remain an economically successful country, the ultra-modern, high-tech jobs and on the world market is competitive, this is a Central challenge we have to the shoulders together.”

But how should that be possible, if the draft budget is no more money for 2020 actually left, which is not yet scheduled?

The German Finance Minister, Olaf Scholz, will, at the end of September new

Little else is being discussed in the political Berlin is currently so fierce as the future of the “black Zero”. This means that expenditure must not exceed revenue, so the budget is balanced. 2014, managed a Federal Minister of Finance, for the first Time since 1969. In the years In between were always made new debt to Finance the Federal budget. With the result that the Federal government has still 1.2 trillion euros of debt.

(Small) loans continue to be possible

In 2011, the so-called debt was included brake in the basic law. It forbids the state to over charge a new debt. The limit is 0.35 per cent of gross domestic product. That would be, according to the Federal Ministry of Finance in the coming year, around ten billion euros. The CDU doesn’t want to. Like no other party you hanging on the black Zero, i.e. the commandment to make no debts.

Wolfgang Schäuble, today President of the Bundestag, presented as Finance Minister, the black Zero again for the first time

For the CDU, therefore, is not in question, for the financing of climate protection loans. Instead, there should be a Review of all budget expenditure, “a Check from head to toe”, as the Deputy CDU Chairman Andreas Jung in the Bundestag called for. Then priorities need to be set and it would have to be reduced elsewhere.

Save use – or not

This is seen in the Opposition, but also in large Parts of the SPD is quite different. Greens leader Robert Habeck calls for in the basic law enshrined “debt brake” to make an investment clause to one side. So the Federal government should be required to haul at least as much money in roads, schools and digital infrastructure that the substance is obtained. Even with the help of new debt.

There is backing from the Institute of the German economy. Its Director, Michael Hüther, has welcomed Habecks idea of an investment Fund. The Insistence on the “black Zero” in the CDU was a “ideological blockage”. The fixation on a balanced budget is threatening the future of the country.