Corona pandemic, Ukraine war and energy crisis are causing Germany's debt to skyrocket. With the debt repayment account, citizens can voluntarily help the state financially. But fewer and fewer people are willing to do that.
So far this year, the state has received less money for debt repayment from citizens than in 2021. This is the result of figures from the Federal Ministry of Finance reported by the Funke media group. In 2022, around 51,200 euros have been received in the federal government's debt repayment account. In 2021 it was around 64,000 euros.
Since the account was set up in 2006, citizens have deposited a total of 1.38 million euros, according to the Ministry of Finance. These were "collected in the federal budget and used for debt repayment". By far the highest amount of donations was in 2018, when almost 610,000 euros were transferred. Nothing was paid in 2008 and 2009.
According to the federal government, the debt repayment account was set up by the Federal Ministry of Finance in May of this year "at the request of many committed citizens and is available for voluntary payments". However, the government does not expect such contributions and does not seek to encourage the population to make payments or to promote this in any other way. One does not want to compete with non-profit organizations or associations by actively soliciting donations.
According to the Federal Statistical Office, the national debt in Germany grew to 2.34 trillion euros in the first half of 2022. Public debt rose by one percent compared to the end of 2021 - and thus to a new high. The debt is spread across various areas: 1.57 trillion euros in debt is attributable to the federal government, 632.6 billion euros in debt to the federal states, 137.1 billion euros to municipalities and municipal associations, and 36 billion euros to social security.
Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner said that after the energy crisis, Germany would have a debt ratio of around 70 percent measured against economic output. In a European comparison, this is still an expression of sustainable public finances. However, Germany has moved further away from the Maastricht criteria.
A debt ceiling of 60 percent of gross domestic product has been agreed in the European Maastricht agreements. However, Germany has exceeded this mark since the beginning of the corona pandemic. Due to extensive government aid measures, many billions of new debts were taken on.