Independence from social benefits: Christian Lindner open to changes in citizen income – defends borrowing

Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) is ready for changes to the citizen money criticized by the Union. At the same time, however, he justifies the borrowing. This is not for “useless subsidies”.

“We are openly going into a mediation process,” said Lindner on Saturday to the editorial network Germany (RND) on the citizen’s income. You can negotiate about anything, he emphasized. “If we can still improve the additional income, that would be very good,” said the minister. Taking up work is a step towards long-term independence from a social benefit: “That must be rewarded and not punished.”

However, on the question of spare assets, Lindner said it would be “inhumane” if a person who had worked all his life and was no longer able to work at the end of 50 due to a stroke of fate had to use up all his savings immediately. “We’re giving him two years to get through life’s crisis and qualify. Society should have this generosity,” said the FDP leader. Lindner also restricted possible changes: “What is still possible with regard to the question of the obligation to cooperate in changes will not have any great significance in practice with thousands of individual cases per day.”

Linder also defended the high level of borrowing in the federal budget and in the various special funds. “I don’t run into debt for redistribution programs, election gifts or useless subsidies,” Lindner told the editorial network Germany (RND/Saturday). However, due to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, there is a break in the epoch. “Energy has been weaponized. We are dealing with an energy war,” says Lindner. This puts the economic substance of Germany in question. “In the current situation we have to react, protect our country and ensure its future viability. I am responsible for every decision,” added the FDP leader.

According to Lindner, Germany’s debt level, measured against annual economic output, is currently 70 percent. “We are absolutely in the area that is economically viable,” said the minister. He assumes that Germany can return to the Maastricht criterion of 60 percent in the course of the decade.