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Report: Expensive family policies don't work
Photo: DPA

Report: Expensive family policies don't work

Published: 03 Feb 2013 13:06 GMT+01:00
Updated: 03 Feb 2013 13:06 GMT+01:00

Germany’s family policies, with its billions of euros in support programmes, are largely ineffective and in some cases counterproductive, a study commissioned by the German government and reported by Spiegel on Sunday showed.

Published in an interim expert report commissioned by the government and obtained by the magazine, the information showed that support payments the government makes for children are not very effective.

The German system of providing significant tax benefits for couples has “little effect” and allowing spouses to be included, at no cost, in the national health insurance plan is “particularly ineffective.”

It said there were some positive effects from Germany’s family policies, but these had “undesired side effects.” The report came out of a research project backed by both the family and finance ministries.

The government was hoping for an overall evaluation of its marriage and family policy support during the current legislative period, but publishing the complete report before the federal elections later this year is seen as unlikely, the magazine wrote.

Researchers tried for the first time to determine the long-term effects of government support policies. It concluded that the actual costs of increasing the children’s support payments “are around double what the nominal direct costs are.”

This happens because women work less, and therefore the government collects less in social security payments. The best return on public investment is for money used to support daycare.

As much as 48 percent of what the state invests in childcare programs gets returned to public coffers, the report said.

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Your comments about this article

18:45 February 3, 2013 by pepsionice
If you devise forty-odd programs....each require a top-level manager in Berlin, with a support staff. Figure in each state....another state-manager and staff. Then you come down to the county-office, where a manager, number-two, and several clerks run a program or two.

Just hand every woman in Germany between the ages of 21 and 35 around 1000 Euro a month, period (as long as they have at least one kid). Fire the vast number of managers and offices across the country, and you'd save tens of millions.
19:27 February 3, 2013 by Englishted
Daycare ,so we can have even more people working for €400 or mini jobs ,even the people working in the daycare centres are not on full time normally.

Provide daycare but only if the mother or father has a "real" job and therefore requires it.

With absolutely no job security is it a wonder there are less children born apart from those who are lucky to be in a "real" job and not having to rely on agencies and the other low wage jobs to scrap by .
11:00 February 4, 2013 by charlenej
pepsionice - A woman who just spent her entire childhood with dreams and goals, has done well in school and has maybe gotten a college education is not going to leave all that behind and be satisfied with 1000€ in exchange so she can stay home all day and hang out in the playground for years. Public education isn't guaranteed until kids are in grade 1. If you have more than one child you are out of the workplace for ages and that is what makes many of those women not want more than 1-2 children if any.
12:18 February 4, 2013 by michael4096
I guess pepsionice is thinking that the €1000 per month can be spent on daycare if a woman want to get on with her career. I agree.

My solution to this problem was au pairs - costs the same as child care and gives a young adult chance to experience another environment safely.
16:35 February 4, 2013 by SchwabHallRocks
Germany's fertility rate is 1.35, along with Japan's, Russia's, Italy's and others.

USA's and France's is about 2.00.

In Japan, last year, they sold more adult diapers than baby diapers.

No point arguing anymore about why there as so few babies in Germany and other countries... it's over.

Perhaps we should all re-read "A Brave New World" and prepare accordingly.

(For my part, though I did marry and have 2 kids. Have you guys done your share?)
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