Despite fiscal estimates: Lindner confident in budget dispute

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Written By Kampretz Bianca

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Federal Minister of Finance Christian Lindner (FDP). /image alliance, Jens Krick

Berlin – Given the bleak budget situation, all federal ministries, including the health department, are called upon to save money. Yesterday’s fiscal estimate, which predicts a gap of 21.9 billion euros for 2025, further worsens the situation. However, Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) is confident that the federal budget for 2025 can be approved by the cabinet in July.

“However, there is still a lot of work to do before that,” the FDP leader said last night. ZDF. He assured that the new forecast, according to which federal, state and local governments will collect significantly less taxes next year than expected, is not a surprise. “That was to be expected at this magnitude. And that’s how it’s planned.”

Lindner reiterated that the priorities were clear. Germany must do more for “tight security”, revive the economy and invest in education and technology. “That means: other things are less important.”

It is of central importance to limit the increase in social expenditure and readjust international policy. Lindner highlighted that Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) was at his side at the beginning of the week and asked departments to save money. “That’s why I have no doubt that we will decide the budget in the right way together.”

SPD leader Lars Klingbeil confirmed that pension cuts proposed by the FDP were out of the question for his party. “Anyone who continues to believe that we can afford the necessary investments in our economy, jobs or the Bundeswehr by cutting citizens’ pensions should go back to using the calculator,” Klingbeil said. “This is not only politically wrong, but also mathematically impossible.”

Fiscal estimators yesterday came to the conclusion that federal, state and local governments will receive €995.2 billion next year – €21.9 billion less than expected in the autumn. Lindner again criticized the cabinet’s “exorbitant” spending requests and emphasized that there would be no financial room for maneuver in the near future. His party recently called for the abolition of the zero-deductible pension at age 63, after 45 years of employment, to save money.

Klingbeil emphasized that the tax estimate once again made clear how big the challenges were in preparing the federal budget. Everyone must be prepared to reach out to each other – and so must the SPD. But his party wants to make the country economically strong and modernize it without cutting pensions or saving on security. “It’s about what’s needed for our country right now. I am sure that the Chancellor will clarify this with the Minister of Economy and Finance,” said Klingbeil.

Klingbeil expressed the expectation “that now we’re not just working with Excel tables and cutting things out, but that the focus is always on: How can we keep this country strong?” War in Ukraine, the demands of SPD ministers Boris Pistorius (defense), Nancy Faeser (interior affairs) and Svenja Schulze (development).

Austerity measures “must not come at the expense of our security or the security of Ukrainians,” Klingbeil emphasized. That’s why it’s fair that Pistorius is now demanding significantly more money for the Bundeswehr. And he has my full support.”

Klingbeil did not say what he thought of the Defense Minister’s proposal to exclude security concerns from the debt brake. “How the government does this and what options exist now must be discussed within the cabinet,” he said simply. However, Klingbeil emphasized that there should be no delays in preparing the budget. “There should be a budget that goes through cabinet before the summer.” © dpa/aerzteblatt.de

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