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SPD attacked over Hartz IV proposals

DDP/The Local · 16 Mar 2010, 09:18

Published: 16 Mar 2010 09:18 GMT+01:00

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Von der Leyen told public broadcaster ARD that the Social Democrats (SPD) would erode Germany's welfare state with its proposal to scrap the means test on Hartz IV benefits.

The SPD has also taken fire from its own side on the issue. Garrelt Duin, an SPD member of parliament and a spokesman for the party’s conservative wing, expressed doubts about the abolition of a means test.

It contradicted “the principle that only he who really needs this help can enjoy the solidarity of the taxpayer,” he told the Rheinische Post.

The SPD leadership on Monday decided to abolish such testing for welfare recipients.

Left party deputy leader Klaus Ernst questioned the credibility of the SPD on the issue.

He told the Berliner Zeitung that a change of policy by parliamentary leader Frank-Walter Steinmeier – one of the architects of the original policy – was unbelievable.

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The same applied to a change of heart by former general secretary Olaf Scholz, who was “precisely the man who in 2004 as general secretary attacked myself and others precisely because of our criticism of the Hartz IV laws,'' Ernst said.

The SPD, then in a centre-left coalition with the Greens, introduced the Hartz IV reforms in 2005 under former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

21:11 March 16, 2010 by Talonx
The problem is the means test is wholly ineffective. It lets too many slide on through to the other side. Don't get rid of it, just adjust it so it actually catches the people it was designed to help.
00:19 March 17, 2010 by peschvogel
These benefits cannot be supported anymore because the Bismark state philosophy is an end game. Its Germanys time to become more privitaized, higher taxes, decentralized and currency reform coming in April. The welfare state is over and done....Stay tuned...
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