Verdi boss Werneke calls for more tax money for social systems

Frank Werneke, Verdi chairman, speaks in a dpa interview. Photo: Britta Pedersen / dpa-Zentralbild / dpa

© Britta Pedersen

Is the ruling coalition setting wrong priorities in its budget for next year? Verdi boss Werneke criticizes harshly.

Berlin (AP) – The chairman of the Verdi union, Frank Werneke, has accused the government coalition of the Union and SPD of wrong priorities in the federal budget for the coming year.

That concerns about the goal of wanting to move the arms budget in the direction of two percent, said Werneke of the German press agency in Berlin. “With a view to the federal election, I expect clear statements from all parties as to whether they are committed to the goal of shifting billions at the expense of social policy and in favor of armaments,” said Werneke.

Werneke also accused the government of deceiving social security contributions. “The so-called social guarantee 2021 is a bluff,” he said. The federal government had promised to stabilize social security contributions at a maximum of 40 percent through grants worth billions from the federal budget.

Werneke said: “The actual costs currently incurred in the pandemic, for example from the corona tests, will be borne by those with statutory health insurance.” The total costs would be pushed into the system of statutory health insurance. “There will be a deficit of 16 billion euros in the coming year, the reserves are to be sacrificed, and premium increases are foreseeable.”

Several health insurance companies had already warned of a permanent double-digit billion hole. Because a cash deficit of 16.6 billion euros is only offset by a federal grant of five billion euros. The individual coffers contribute eight billion through a property levy. The rest should be covered by higher additional contributions. The pandemic costs only make up the smaller part of the deficit. A double-digit billion gap will remain, according to the coffers, according to their information.

With regard to pensions and long-term care, too, Werneke said: “In any case, we need higher tax subsidies for the social security systems.” Otherwise the pension level could not be maintained. In the case of care, the co-payments must also be capped.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 201226-99-814707 / 3

Verdi positions on politics and economics

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