Labor market: How the SPD Hartz IV disappears

The SPD advises on the weekend, how the state will help workers and the unemployed in the future. An overview of the concepts and ideas behind it.

If one compares the welfare state with a workshop, then one can say: The SPD has rebuilt, scrapped and introduced much in it in the past years. Only to the one big, ugly machine that she built a decade and a half ago, she never dared approach – until now. "We want to leave Hartz IV behind us," says the chairman Andrea Nahles. Over the weekend, the board will discuss a concept that experts from the party wrote this week. In it, tasks are assigned to the welfare state as an organizer and as a mechanic. And Hartz IV disappears – in the literal sense. The most important terms in the SPD plan are different.

Social partners and collective bargaining

Sounds abstract, but it is very concrete. The welfare state should organize – so that afterwards he has to repair as little as possible as a mechanic. The federal government should force by law to assign jobs only to companies that pay at least an hourly wage of twelve euros. Companies that submit to collective agreements should receive tax benefits. The Ministry of Labor should be made easier to make collective agreements universally binding – by eliminating employers' right of veto that they currently have in a ministry committee. The idea behind it is that the more people earn, the less the risk that they will need support from the social state, at the latest in their old age. Because low pensions have their origins even in low wages. The SPD paper deals exclusively with the life phase in which people work. For the next phase, the "Grundrente" is planned, which Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) proposed to the needy a week ago.

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Unemployment benefit I

And now to the state as a mechanic. The term "unemployment benefit I" is uncontaminated in the workshop, so he may stay. But the rigid limit is to fall: Who is younger than 50, receives this money so far for a maximum of one year; Only older people have had the chance to get it for two years. The SPD wants two things. Firstly, anyone who has not yet found a new job after three months, should have the right to further training ("qualification") – and in the period of continuing education to receive an additional "unemployment allowance Q", which is the same as the unemployment benefit Continuing training between twelve and 24 months, there are still in the time the full unemployment benefit Q and half unemployment benefit I.

In addition, it is no longer just the age that determines how long someone receives unemployment benefits, but also how long you have paid contributions to unemployment insurance. Maximum subscription period in future: three years.

Children basic security

This is about replacing child allowances and child allowances. In the workshop, therefore, two new machines are to be built. The first one is called "infrastructural promotion", it is about making even more than before daycare, day care, lunch or mobility free of contributions. The second is "individual basic security" – whether and how much there is should depend on the income of the parents. The paper says: "The height is still appropriate to determine."

Bürgergeld

Sounds better than unemployment benefit II and much better than Hartz IV – that's what the intent is. But the break with Hartz is not only semantic. Whoever has been receiving Unemployment Benefit I for a maximum of three years and is still without a job does not have to use up his assets and move into a smaller flat so that "citizen's allowance" exists. For two years is closed season. "Illegal and unworthy" sanctions should be over. About the amount of the citizen's money is in the concept nothing.

There is also a plan by the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller. He also wants to pay citizens' money as a "solid basic income": Long-term unemployed get a state-funded job as a helper in day care centers or homes – and this form of income. In the SPD, however, Müller has not yet prevailed.

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