From 2023 the new citizens’ income will come – there is already a lot of criticism. The opposition criticizes that people with low incomes would hardly be better off than those receiving citizen benefits. FOCUS online asked its users: Is the work still worthwhile with the introduction of citizen income?

From January, the new citizen’s income is to replace the previous Hartz IV system. The draft law provides for a significant increase: the standard rate for single adults increases from 449 euros to 502 euros. Better additional income opportunities and the retention of the previous sanctions in a milder form as well as more help for qualification and further training are also planned.

The Union sharply criticizes the proposal: The new regulation makes it more attractive not to work, according to the labor market policy spokesman for the Union faction, Stephan Stracke. A corresponding survey among FOCUS online users received numerous complaints about citizen income. The tenor: people with low incomes would hardly be better off than those receiving citizen benefits.

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User Kerstin Dietl writes: “I think it’s an absolute cheek and a slap in the face for every working citizen and every pensioner from the middle class. We small and medium-sized businesses have to pay our rent and other running costs ourselves”.

The high energy costs in particular would bother her: “We have sleepless nights trying to figure out how to finance heating and hot water in winter. I’m sitting here at the moment in 17 degrees and have turned off my heating completely because I don’t know how to pay for my next delivery of heating oil”. On the other hand, those who receive citizen income don’t have to worry about skyrocketing energy costs, since the office takes over the costs, according to Dietl.

Other FOCUS online users write that they now want to cancel. The 50-year-old craftsman Thomas H. reports that he would prefer to receive the citizen’s income in the future. Above all, taking over the rent and heating costs are the biggest incentive for him.

His pension will also be very low: “So I don’t have to work until 67 to get a poverty pension that also has to be taxed,” says User H.

Another FOCUS online user writes anonymously: “I stop working because I’m much better off with the citizen’s income”. Many acquaintances would also ask themselves why they should still go to work.

For user Ralf Radmacher, the citizen’s allowance is not fair to pensioners and low-income workers. He himself would draw a small pension and be cold every day because he couldn’t afford heating. Radmacher feels disadvantaged compared to those receiving citizenship benefit: “If I could receive citizenship benefit, I would be at home most of the day and wouldn’t have to freeze because I could turn the heating up to full. I wouldn’t have to pay. Oh yes, I could shower several times a day. I wouldn’t have to pay.”

However, there is also approval for citizen money: User Holger Wiggers finds the increase appropriate for people who have become unemployed through no fault of their own and have worked for at least 30 years. The same applies to sick people, according to Wiggers. User Sonja Bednar sees it similarly: “It should help people better who have previously paid into the system and who have found themselves in an emergency situation due to job loss etc. It is wrong to finance people who are unwilling to work permanently and almost without restrictions”.

One of those affected is Katrin Beck: According to her own statements, the 56-year-old has been receiving Harz-IV since April, having previously worked for 40 years. After a long illness, she was finally fired. “Now I understand the suffering that Hartz IV recipients feel. I cry all day because right now I have hardly any money to live on, I also have to pay bills and have to go into private bankruptcy because it’s no longer possible,” said the 56-year-old. She is in favor of increasing the citizen benefit rates. Nevertheless, she is in favor of young people being forced into training.

User Peter Budzisch believes that very few people receiving citizen income would be aware that every euro was earned by another citizen. He sees the basic income as a problem, mainly because of the shortage of skilled workers: He asks: “If the distance to the diligent workers is marginal, how can a labor market where there is a shortage of workers in almost every industry be stimulated?” He thinks that the basic income will have the opposite effect and that the shortage of skilled workers will continue to increase.