Minister of Labor on Citizens' Income: Heil: "The system is now so overgrown"

Federal Minister of Labor Hubertus Heil has defended the citizens' allowance, which is to be introduced in January.

Minister of Labor on Citizens' Income: Heil: "The system is now so overgrown"

Federal Minister of Labor Hubertus Heil has defended the citizens' allowance, which is to be introduced in January. The new Hartz IV successor system should bring people into qualified work more quickly, says Heil at Markus Lanz on ZDF.

On January 1, 2023, a so-called citizen's income is to be introduced in Germany. It is to be higher than the previous basic provision, and it is intended to benefit the long-term unemployed in particular. There should also be new rules for them, said Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil on the ZDF program Markus Lanz.

The purpose of the new citizens' allowance is to get the long-term unemployed into work more quickly. In addition, the system should become less bureaucratic. Heil: "Two-thirds of the long-term unemployed we are talking about have not completed vocational training. In the old system, we put them in some kind of work so that it sounds good. I want them to be able to catch up on a vocational qualification so that we can can get them into work in the long term."

According to Heil, about two million adults are affected. "The aim of citizen money is not to manage neediness, but to get citizens out of this system unbureaucratically wherever possible," said the SPD politician. The new system should give the long-term unemployed incentives for training and not force them into short-term work.

In addition, Heil called for young people in particular to be protected from slipping into basic security. According to Heil, 50,000 people left school this summer alone without a degree. 1.3 million people between the ages of twenty and thirty have no initial vocational training. "It's about giving people a chance through qualification who otherwise only get unskilled jobs on the free labor market," says Heil.

The old system came into effect when unemployment was at five million. "The system is now so overgrown, you wouldn't know it," said Heil literally. And: "I am for an activating welfare state. But the goal is that work is more than earning a living. Wherever possible, I want to get people into work and not manage poverty and need."

While there are two million long-term unemployed on the one hand, there is a shortage of skilled workers in many areas. To counteract this, the economist Monika Schnitzer at Lanz proposed an increase in weekly working hours. At the same time, she spoke out in favor of a moderate increase in the start of retirement. However, according to the calculations of a research group to which she belongs, a retirement age of 70 years would not be reached for another 57 years, i.e. 2079.

Hubertus Heil has little to gain from the suggestion. "I'm for a flexible pension," he said at Lanz. The minister also announced that he would be discussing a "skilled labor strategy" with the trade unions and business in the fall. One possibility could be to bring non-working women into the labor market. To this end, all-day childcare and the compatibility of work and family would have to be improved.

In addition, Heil wants to work out a new immigration law together with Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser. "I want us to admit that we need qualified immigration. The shortage of skilled workers could become the biggest brake on the economy and prosperity for this country," said Heil.

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