29.11.2021 – 15:36
On the occasion of the inflation rate published today by the Federal Statistical Office, which at 5.2 percent has not been as high as it has been in 29 years, the Paritätische Wohlfahrtsverband reiterates the demand for a noticeable compensation for recipients of basic security and housing benefit. The Hartz IV standard rate increase planned to date on January 1, 2022, by not even one percent, is far too low and, in view of the current price development, even amounts to a reduction, the association criticizes. The association calls on the legislature to immediately ensure that the update formula for the standard rates in the basic security is adjusted so that price increases are always at least offset. The housing benefit also requires an effective flat-rate energy cost allowance.
“It has been foreseeable for months that the basic security benefits at the beginning of next year will move further away from the actual needs of the people and even show a loss of purchasing power if the standard rates anchored in the law are not readjusted”, criticizes Ulrich Schneider, General Manager of Paritätischen Overall association. “The process is not only tough and momentous for the people affected – it also fundamentally undermines the basic welfare state mandate to ensure a decent subsistence level.” If the legislature does not take action now and at least ensure inflation compensation, it is violating the constitution, the association warns and refers to an opinion by the legal scientist Professor Anne Lenze, according to which the very small increase in the standard rates planned for January 1, 2022 is unconstitutional. The low adjustment of the standard needs as of January 1, 2022 in connection with the rising inflation heralds a “new level of falling below the decent subsistence level”, according to the result of the legal examination commissioned by the Paritätische Wohlfahrtsverband and published in October.
The current figures from the Federal Statistical Office now confirm the urgent need for action. The paritätische calls on the federal government to immediately ensure that the update formula for the standard rates in the basic security is adjusted so that price increases are always at least absorbed. Irrespective of this, the paritarian criticizes the standard rates as fundamentally not covering requirements. “Our call for an increase in the standard rates to at least 600 euros is still in place,” emphasizes Schneider. “One look at the prices in the supermarket is enough to see that the current poverty rates are not enough to get through the month. The planned increase of 3 euros is a bad joke at best.” According to calculations by the Paritätische Forschungsstelle, a properly determined standard rate for an adult living alone should already have been at least 644 euros instead of the current 446 euros.
To the background:
The amount of the current standard rates was determined in the so-called Standard Requirements Determination Act as of January 1, 2021. The paritätische criticizes the fact that the legislature has once again used the constitutionally granted legislative design options when determining the standard needs exclusively for the purpose of reducing. As a result, the standard rates are too low and do not cover requirements. The general inflation rate was 3.8 percent in July this year. The annual update of the standard rates as of January 1, however, takes place in accordance with Book XII of the Social Code on the basis of a mixed index, which takes 70 percent of the standard rate-specific price development and 30 percent of the development of net wages and salaries into account. According to current media reports, the standard rate for young people and adults is to be increased by three euros on January 1, 2022 and by two euros for children under 14.
Link to legal opinion: https://ots.de/Hv3PSL
Gwendolyn Stilling, [email protected], Tel .: 030 24636-305
Original content from: Paritätischer Wohlfahrtsverband, transmitted by news aktuell