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Labour Ministry wants to ditch 'Hartz IV' for easier welfare benefits name

The Local · 15 Sep 2010, 09:07

Published: 15 Sep 2010 09:07 GMT+02:00

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The ministry, led by conservative Christian Democrat Ursula von der Leyen, told daily Süddeutsche Zeitung that she favoured replacing the old phrase with Basisgeld, or “basis money,” but said a final decision had not yet been reached.

Putting the new term in the code of social law would end the use of Hartz IV to describe welfare benefits in the general parlance so that citizens would have a better idea of what the concept means. It would also end the negative connotation it has come to have, a ministry spokesperson said.

The country’s Constitutional Court recently ruled that the terminology for welfare benefits was too confusing and must be changed by the end of the year.

Von der Leyen plans to present the first part of a draft law to change the wording on Monday, the ministry said.

Hartz IV was named after Peter Hartz, the head of a commission that suggested changes to Germany's labour market and welfare system in 2002. It specifically refers to long-term unemployment benefits instituted in 2005, and has become synonymous with former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's highly unpopular Agenda 2010 reforms.

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The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:22 September 15, 2010 by catjones
How about Parasit?
12:44 September 15, 2010 by pepsionice
From my days of living in Germany....I had a ex-neighbor. The guy went on German welfare around 2003. He has never come off the program. He's 52 today. Over the first six years, they tried to give this guy a job every three months, and he never lasted more than two weeks. He'd come up to call in sick by the end of the first week....claiming stress issues. He's a pot-head and smokes at least four joints a day minimum. He had three kids....which in the beginning meant another $700. As each kid got old enough to leave....they left. So his income dipped each time. He has a daughter left in the house and she expects to leave by spring. He'll be on bare Hartz IV by that point. The curious thing is that he makes enough to own a dog, and buy dogfood.
19:43 September 15, 2010 by LMFAO
Annnnd this is why you losers are here commenting on The local instead of deciding national policy.

Thanks for playing along!

But hey guys, I hear there's an article about integration somewhere over there -->

Race you to it!
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