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Von der Leyen under fire for Hartz IV changes

The Local · 21 Sep 2010, 09:21

Published: 21 Sep 2010 09:21 GMT+02:00

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Von der Leyen announced on Monday some details about her plans for “non-cash” benefits, such as a chip card that gives needy children access to educational and recreational services. She also said that she planned the rates to rise in harmony with wage increases and inflation.

But the Greens attacked von der Leyen’s announcement as nothing but political manoeuvring.

“Labour Minister von der Leyen is ducking the question as to how high the base rate of the benefits should go,” Greens parliamentary leader Jürgen Trittin told Tuesday’s Rheinische Post. “The debate about non-cash benefits for education and the education “chip card” distract from the heart of the problem.”

The standard benefit had to be raised to €420, he said. Trittin added: “The model for the education chip card doesn’t help, because it’s about a voluntary benefit of the community. That means cities such as Düsseldorf can make them available. In Duisburg and Gelsenkirchen, where there are budget strains, this will not be possible. Yet that’s where (the benefits) are needed.”

Von der Leyen hit back at the criticism. Nothing could be definitely determined about the rate of benefits until a study on the everyday burdens of 60,000 households were tallied, she said.

The centre-left Social Democrats deputy parliamentary leader, Hubertus Heil, told the Braunschweiger Zeitung that he feared the government had not put enough thought into how it would actually pay for future benefits rates.

Story continues below…

He said he could “only warn against turning to tricks to artificially calculate lower rates.”


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:26 September 21, 2010 by wolfer
I think she's cute!
16:44 September 21, 2010 by Aschaffenburgboy
I am impress that this articles does not mention anything about immigrants being culpable for whatever problems or disagreements there are.
17:59 September 21, 2010 by iline
This is likely a response to the mentality of those who walk straight from the job centre to the betting shop, as I witnessed when I claimed benefits in London. She addresses child benefit directly and I agree that a child's benefit should not be spent on the father's gambling or the mother's drug habit.

I just do not imagine how the undoubtedly complex infrastructure and social implications would be skirted to make this reality. After a period of austerity inexorably comes conservatism, and the constant stream of "scroungers get less" "immigrants go home" and other right-wing rhetoric from the EU member states is making me, as a liberal, quite itchy in my armchair.
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