Finance Minister Christian Lindner will no longer present any key points for the 2024 budget. “We will do without that this year,” said the FDP chairman of the “Bild am Sonntag”. The opposition criticized the announcement.

Christian Görke, financial policy spokesman for the Left Group, said: “With the non-presentation of the budget key points and the financial plan by 2026, the financial policy trickery à la Lindner continues and actually borders on a refusal to work.” Apart from the uniqueness in the financial history of the Federal Republic, the structural imbalance of the federal budget should be disguised.

Union faction Vice Johann Wadephul (CDU) wrote on Twitter with a view to the Bundeswehr: “This federal government is standing k.o. You can’t even agree on basic parameters. Longer-term procurements are slowed down in this way.”

Lindner: Money is not enough

The so-called key figures are usually presented before the final government draft for the budget. Actually, Lindner should have presented this at the beginning of March. However, he postponed the appointment because the ministries could not agree. According to the previous plan, the final government draft is to be approved by the cabinet on June 21 after the tax estimate for May. Then comes the Bundestag, which wants to decide on the budget at the beginning of December.

For the first time, Lindner expects state revenues of more than one trillion euros for the coming year. “Nevertheless, the money is not enough to fund the federal government’s legal obligations,” he said. At the moment, additional expenses are out of the question. “I warn everyone who is looking for easy solutions like raising taxes. That would be economically wrong. This government must find the strength to save.”

Green Group Vice sees no time pressure

Green parliamentary group leader Andreas Audretsch sees no time pressure in the coalition debate. “We will get the tax estimate in May, and we will then draw up a budget that is to be passed in the cabinet in June,” Audretsch said on Deutschlandfunk on Monday. There is still a lot of time until June. “That’s why I don’t think it’s necessary at the moment to bring so much pressure into the debate. Instead, we’ll look at the numbers, they will become more concrete over the coming weeks, and then we’ll talk about priorities together .”

Among other things, he reiterated the Greens’ demand for more money for the planned basic child security – a point of contention with the FDP of Finance Minister Christian Lindner. He recently argued in the “Bild am Sonntag” that a lot had already happened for families with children and referred to the recent increase in child benefit. More is “always desirable, but not always possible,” said the FDP leader. Audretsch, on the other hand, emphasized: “The idea that one could take action against child poverty, invest in the future of the country, in our children and not spend any money, the idea doesn’t work.”

Controversy over child security

From 2025, basic child security is to bundle state benefits for families and children. What is controversial in the coalition is what should go with it. Family Minister Lisa Paus (Greens) wants an increase because, in her opinion, the previous aid does not adequately combat child poverty. She therefore announced a need of twelve billion euros. Lindner replied in the “Bild am Sonntag” that a lot had already happened for families with children. He referred to the increase in child benefit to 250 euros. More is “always desirable, but not always possible”.

But Paus sticks to her call for additional funds. With a view to Lindner, the Greens politician in the editorial network Germany (RND) also opposed offsetting the increase in child benefit with the costs of the measure.

Against the background of high inflation, the increase in child benefit is an important step, Paus told RND. “But that alone is not enough – the necessary costs for basic child security cannot be offset against it.” This must be adequately funded – “to make the application process much easier and to get more children out of poverty”. Paus emphasized: “12 billion euros are more of a lower limit for this.”

FDP Deputy Group Leader Christoph Meyer told the German Press Agency: “Lisa Paus’ task is to simplify administration for families, but nothing has happened yet. Anyone who asks for money must first say what exactly should be done and how. Lisa stays here too Pau owes answers.”

The traffic light government had agreed in the coalition agreement to want to get more children out of poverty with basic child security. Green party leader Britta Haßelmann described the project in the RND as “one of the next central projects”.