Union faction vice Jens Spahn has criticized the planned increase in citizen income. “Those who work must have more than those who don’t work,” said the CDU politician to “Bild”. “If the citizens’ income now rises faster than the wages of many millions of employees, that sends the wrong signal.”

Social Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) had previously announced that citizen income should be increased by around 12 percent next year. From the beginning of 2024, single people should receive 563 euros per month instead of 502 euros today. Adults living with partners should in future receive 506 euros instead of the previous 451 euros. 5.5 million people in need are currently receiving citizenship benefits, including 1.68 million unemployed. In January, the basic income had replaced Hartz IV in its earlier form as the central social reform of the traffic light government.

Spahn also called for tougher penalties if the unemployed do not take advantage of measures or job offers. “When recipients of citizenship benefits who are able to work repeatedly refuse offered work or qualifications, the financial consequences are more noticeable than today. Anyone who can work should work. We must realign our social systems more strongly according to this simple principle,” he said.