The traffic light government wants to comply with the debt brake next year – at least for the time being. This was announced by Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) and Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) at a joint press conference.
Savings had to be made in the budget talks. “We don’t like to do that, but it’s necessary,” said Scholz. Climate-damaging subsidies will be reduced and savings will be made in federal subsidies and in the expenditure of individual ministries. “We have to get by with significantly less money to achieve our goals.” Finance Minister Lindner assured that there would be no cuts in “social standards”. However, he indicated that the welfare state wanted to become more efficient.
However, the traffic light explicitly keeps the back doors open in the budget, which the debt brake law allows them: in emergencies such as the flood disaster in the Ahr Valley in 2022, debts will be taken on above the brake. The situation will also be reassessed in the event that the situation on the front in Ukraine worsens.
On Tuesday morning it became clear: After tough negotiations, the traffic light leaders agreed on the 2024 federal budget. The talks were complicated because, according to Finance Minister Lindner, 17 billion euros were missing. Lindner said: “This coalition is capable of acting and reaching agreement, even on very difficult tasks.” Chancellor Scholz also praised the discussions as constructive and familiar.
When drawing up the budget for 2024, the focus was on how it should be adjusted following the Federal Constitutional Court’s ruling on budget management and special funds. The main point of contention was the question of whether, in addition to budget savings, the debt brake should also be suspended for 2024.
The coalition committee is scheduled to meet this Wednesday afternoon. Chancellor Scholz will also make a government statement at midday – you can also see this in the live stream on SZ.de.
At the party conference at the weekend, the SPD called for the debt brake to be suspended for 2024 as well. The delegates decided that “constitutionally stipulated leeway for the budget” must be used in the interests of the population. Politically, the war in Ukraine created the prerequisites for an emergency that would enable increased borrowing.