In response to the corona pandemic, the SPD parliamentary group wants to significantly expand the welfare state and thus also score points in next year’s federal election.
Among other things, the party wants to abolish the hartz IV basic income support in its current form and replace it with a new citizen’s allowance. "As a first step, we will implement the ruling of the federal constitutional court and exclude benefit cuts of more than 30 percent in ALG II payments," says a resolution paper of the parliamentary group, which met in berlin on thursday.
"We also want to abolish the stricter sanctions for under-25s," the document, which was obtained by the deutsche presse agency, continues. SPD parliamentary party leader rolf mutzenich said, not least with a view to the corona pandemic: "I think people will know that they are also dependent on social democracy to get them through this decade of tough challenges."
Party chairwoman saskia esken praised the agreement announced in august that finance minister olaf scholz would be the social democrats’ candidate for chancellor. "The SPD is more united at the top than it has been for a long time, while the competition from the union and the FDP to the left and the greens seem rather disorganized – and probably are," esken said at the meeting, according to participants.
In view of the ongoing pandemic, CSU leader markus soder warned against neglecting the coalition’s substantive work and campaigning far in advance of the elections. "Our goal is also not to spend a year campaigning, regardless of who nominates which candidate and when," he said before the retreat of the CSU state group in the bundestag.
The social democrats also discussed the poison attack on russian opposition politician alexei nawalny. In view of the developments surrounding the prominent critic of the kremlin, projects such as the nord stream 2 baltic sea gas pipeline from russia to germany are now also on the agenda for mutzenich. "We firmly believe that all options are on the table," said mutzenich. Nord stream 2 is not a german government project, however, but involves various companies. The SPD is very interested in a joint approach by the europeans against russia.
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