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Family Ministry projects suspended due to budget cuts

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Family Ministry projects suspended due to budget cuts
Kristina Schröder at a press conference. Photo: DPA
10:12 CEST+02:00
Central family policy projects laid out in Angela Merkel's centre-right coalition contract have apparently been put on ice, a media report said on Monday.

Revisions to parental benefits, such as bureaucratic simplification and an extension to 28 months of payments for parents working part-time, will not be implemented any time soon, according to a Family Ministry response to a parliamentary inquiry by the Green party.

In its response the ministry blamed the “current debt reduction measures under constitutional law” for not moving forward with the plans “at this time,” daily Hamburger Abendblatt reported.

But programmes to support needy children in schools, create after-school educational opportunities and start a national hotline for battered women, remain in a stage of “conceptualisation and planning,” the ministry said.

However plans to create “future accounts” with a starting balance of €150 for newborns will have to wait, according to the paper.

Meanwhile budgetary adjustments are currently being addressed by a draft law.

“The balance sheet of the Family Ministry is sobering,” Green party co-leader Claudia Roth told the paper. “All of the new plans for child and family policy in the new coalition agreement have been either eliminated or put on ice.”

Green party family policy spokesperson Katja Dörner criticised Family Minister Kristina Schröder, a member of Chancellor Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats (CDU), saying she'd allowed herself to be “fobbed off” during budgetary negotiations, accepting too many cuts to her ministry spending.

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