Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has become involved in the coalition dispute over the federal budget for the coming year. A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Finance explains, with a view to corresponding media reports, that it is true that Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) and the Federal Chancellor are holding talks with some department colleagues on the budget. The “Süddeutsche Zeitung” and the “Welt” reported about it first.

It was also said that Lindner had already announced this procedure to the cabinet members in the case of “requests for explanation” when the final budget procedure was presented in the preliminary cabinet talks on May 31. “The talks take place at the request of individual ministers and serve to explain the budgetary requirements of the ceilings. There are no budget negotiations.”

Narrator: The procedure is nothing new

Only technical adjustments within these so-called ceilings are planned until the cabinet decision, according to the spokeswoman. “This procedure is nothing new, there have already been similar processes in the past. In particular, a cabinet meeting or budget deliberations in the coalition committee, as in 2010, are no longer necessary.”

Lindner had informed the other departments how much money should be available to them in the coming year. A ministry spokeswoman explained that the departments are now being asked to “take responsibility” for the design of their respective planned budgets.

Debt brake should be complied with again

The coalition has been struggling for a long time over the 2024 budget. The debt brake anchored in the Basic Law is to be observed again. To do this, additional costs due to the collective bargaining agreement in the public sector and higher interest rates must be compensated. The federal government will also have to make do with less money in the coming year than the tax estimators had predicted in the fall. That was the result of the tax estimate in May. The FDP rules out tax increases.

At the beginning of June, circles in the Ministry of Finance said that Lindner had discussed the further procedure for preparing the budget with his colleagues. Scholz and he both emphasized that the government draft should be available before the parliamentary summer break on July 7th. The Budget Committee of the Bundestag, which then continues to work with the draft, also expects this.