No money for families of delinquents

Günther Oettinger, centre right party CDU member and Minister President of Baden-Württemburg suggested a plan to save millions of euros, ending child allowances to families of imprisoned adolescents. The premier of the state in south western Germany argues that children who are in jail cost their families a negligible amount of money, as the state provides for youths while they are in prison.

Officials in the Baden-Württemberg government calculated there are about 20,000 claims to child allowances for youths who are in jail. “That costs the tax payer up to € 30 million Euros a year,” said Oettinger told the German newspaper Bild. The CDU politician is leading a legal initiative to bring this suggestion to the Bundesrat, the upper house of the Germany parliament.

The Federal Office for the Family said that cases of families of criminal youths receiving child allowances are quite rare, as only families of children under 18 or who have children who are studying or undergoing training are eligible for that type of governmental support.

“The Union should not make a new, stricter suggestion every day regarding the issue of youth violence,” Kai Gehring, who is a speaker on youth related issues for the left-wing Green Party in the Bundestag, told the Berlin daily newspaper, the Berliner Zeitung. He said instead of talking about intensifying punishment, Oettinger should focus on prevention.

The Greens want to see preventative measures that focus on helping the youth and supporting the affected families. Especially, members of the Green Party said they would like to see more investment in the education system and harder restrictions on weapons.