SPD Social Affairs Minister Hubertus Heil is planning “social climate money”, which should help citizens to cushion the rapidly rising inflation. A demand that is not only met with criticism from the opposition, but also from traffic lights. Because the proposal allows lots of unanswered questions.
The SPD is under pressure. Rising inflation is causing energy and food prices in particular to skyrocket. And the traffic light relief packages are not enough for many citizens.
Because this is the case, the Labor and Social Affairs Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) now wants to initiate further relief. He calls for social climate money, from which low and medium incomes in particular, as well as pensioners, should benefit. In concrete terms, this is a once-a-year payment that is to be financed through CO2 pricing.
The Union considers the proposal to be too bureaucratic. “Who else sees through that?” criticizes the CDU politician Julia Klöckner. And there is criticism not only in the opposition. The measures planned by Heil also cause explosives in the traffic lights. Both the Liberals and the Greens criticize the plans of the SPD minister.
They also think the project is too bureaucratic. Added to this is the fact that FDP circles complain about social redistribution. It is said that this no longer has much to do with “climate money”. Even among the Greens, this is causing displeasure. Climate money that is based on income and not on CO2 emissions misses the point and purpose intended by the party .
To classify: In order to cushion inflation, the SPD social affairs minister wants to introduce an additional payment for people with a gross income of less than 4000 euros once a year – for couples it must not be more than 8000 euros together. The relief should be aimed at “employees, pensioners, students and trainees”. The exact scope and staggering of this “social climate money” will be discussed in the coalition, said Heil.
Problem: A lot of questions remain unanswered. Because even if everything seems to be clear with the set limit of 4000 euros gross per month, this is far from the case. How is additional income, such as Christmas bonuses, bonuses or allowances, valued?
It is also unclear which groups Heil means exactly. What about the self-employed? Or the person receiving basic security?
The group of recipients initially remains vague and, in the event of an actual proposal, Heil would have to define it much more clearly or expand it accordingly.
In addition, when Heil speaks of the climate money agreed in the coalition agreement, he basically means a refund to the citizens. It is about the income from CO2 pricing. Actually, the money should be repaid here depending on CO2 consumption per capita. In other words, if you consume a lot of CO2, you get less money back. If you use less, you get more back. The idea came from the Greens.
The SPD approach would defer consideration of payees. This means that the redistribution would no longer be based on CO2 consumption, but on income.
Should Heil plan the climate money in addition to the CO2 repayments, he would have to use the climate and transformation fund. It is actually in the care of the Green Minister for Economic Affairs, Robert Habeck, who has already budgeted a lot of money for his own projects.
Conclusion: Heil wants to use the climate pot for a socio-political measure and is thus, to a certain extent, doing fraudulent labeling. With his coalition partners, he encounters more criticism than encouragement. Although all traffic light partners want to further relieve, but not like this. The FDP wants – as party leader Christian Lindner has announced – to end the debt policy. On the other hand, the Greens would be willing to take on more debt, but are not willing to give up from their own pot and thus make cuts in their core issue of “climate protection”.
If Heil wants social relief, he will certainly find broad support for it in the future. However, he has to raise the money himself.