Wheelchair users are protesting at the Reichstag building.

Wheelchair users are protesting at the Reichstag building.

But is that really a cause for joy for those affected? The president of the social association VdK calls for a fundamental reform. Hartz IV recipients will receive a little more money from January onwards. The Federal Council approved a government ordinance to update the Hartz IV rates.

This increases the Hartz IV standard rate for one-person households from currently 409 to 416 euros. For couples, the rate increases by six euros per person. Small children receive three euros more per month, children and young people five euros more than before. The update is based on prices for daily needs and the net wage and salary development per employee. It is intended to allow recipients of basic security and social assistance to participate in the general economic development. The President of the Social Association VdK, Ulrike Mascher, spoke out in favor of a fundamental reform in the determination of the standard rates: “The increase approved by the Federal Council today is far too low and not realistic.

We finally need a set of rules that covers the socio-cultural subsistence level. “A new assessment of needs is urgently needed, especially for the elderly, the disabled, single parents and children and young people. Source:, ftü / dpa” Many people are due to a lack of financial resources dependent on accepting food from institutions such as the Bahnhofsmission (Photo: picture alliance / Lisa Ducret / d) In Germany, almost one in five people has to live with financial deprivation and fear social exclusion. Across the EU, the proportion is even higher. Although the number of those affected is falling slightly, the social association VdK speaks of a scandal. Despite the booming economy in Germany, many millions of people live at or below the poverty line. According to an EU-wide survey, the money is often insufficient for many to pay bills, rent or heating costs. Almost one in five is at risk of poverty or social exclusion.

In 2017, this applied to 15.5 million people and thus 19 percent of the population, as reported by the Federal Statistical Office, citing the EU-wide survey “Living in Europe” (EU-SILC). This makes the value within a year easy In 2016, 16 million people in Germany were still at risk of poverty and social exclusion. In the entire EU, the share was 22.5 percent last year (2016: 23.5 percent). At risk of poverty or social exclusion are those whose income is below the so-called at-risk-of-poverty line, who are affected by significant material deprivation or who live in a household with little gainful employment above less than 60 percent of the median income.

In 2017, this threshold for a person living alone in Germany was 1,096 euros per month, for two adults with two children under 14 years of age it was 2302 euros.biology essays This applied to 13.1 million people last year. The definition of a threat of social exclusion is somewhat broader: it also means, for example, that a household does not have enough money for rent, TV, heating or even a week-long stay Vacation. This affected 3.4 percent of the population in Germany in 2017. Almost nine percent under 60 lived in a household with very low labor force participation. If a single person works twelve months a year, then there is one hundred percent labor force participation.

If it comes to less than 20 percent, it is considered to be at risk of poverty or social exclusion. The President of the Social Association VdK Germany, Verena Bentele, spoke of the still shockingly high numbers. “It is scandalous that, despite the economic boom in Germany, 15.5 million people are at risk of poverty or exclusion.” She called for an overall plan to combat poverty. “This includes fair educational opportunities as well as a reoriented labor market policy.” According to the Federal Statistical Office, around 14,000 households in Germany alone are surveyed in writing every year for the “Living in Europe” survey. The survey by questionnaire is therefore representative. Source:, fzö / rts / dpa “(Photo: picture alliance / dpa) There has been a lower wage limit in Germany for one and a half years. It is now being checked for the first time Increase by 34 cents before.

Not everyone is enthusiastic: the statutory minimum wage, which has been in force for a year and a half, is set to rise for the first time in 2017. For around four million employees, the lower wage limit will rise from the current EUR 8.50 to EUR 8.84 per hour. That is what the minimum wage commission suggested. The decision was made unanimously, said its chairman Jan Zilius. “The amount of the adjustment is subsequently based on the rate development.” The federal government can only accept or reject the recommendation, but not change it. Federal Labor Minister Andrea Nahles announced that she would follow the recommendation. “I will submit the decision to the federal government.” The basis for the decision of the committee – in which employers and trade unions are represented equally – is the tariff index determined by the Federal Statistical Office.

Around 500 collective agreements are incorporated into it. In the past year and a half, wages and salaries rose by an average of 3.2 percent. This would have increased the minimum wage to exactly 8.77 euros. The committee also had its own decision-making power, but the commission also took the most recent collective agreement for the public service with it as a basis, which has not yet become effective through disbursement.

However, the unions failed to demand that the latest collective bargaining agreement for the metal and electrical industries be taken into account. Then the future minimum wage would have been 8.87 euros. DGB board member and commission member Stefan Körzell said: “From our point of view, the glass is a bit fuller than half empty.” But the higher minimum wage is also positive for the economy and tax and social systems. “Every cent means 70 million euros more purchasing power per year – and thus more tax and premium income.” Reinhard Göhner, who sits on the committee for employers, was also satisfied. For the service union Verdi, however, the increase is not high enough. “This means that the statutory minimum wage in Germany remains significantly behind that of neighboring Western European countries,” said ver.di boss Frank Bsirske. In contrast, the social association VdK criticized the increase as inadequate. “The minimum wage must be increased significantly and ensure that full-time employees can provide for their livelihood with their earned income and can build up adequate old-age security above the basic security level,” said VdK President Ulrike Mascher. Criticism also came from the taxi and rental car association and from Retail Association HDE.

The head of the Ifo Institute Clemens Fuest said: “In view of the immigration of refugees, I would have considered it appropriate not to increase the minimum wage for the time being. I fear that this will have an impact on the integration of refugees.” The nationwide minimum wage was introduced on January 1, 2015 . Long-term unemployed people who have started work in the first six months as well as trainees and people with compulsory internships or internships under three months are excluded. The legislature had made further requirements that should be taken into account in the event of an increase – for example that employment is not threatened.

The next increase is due on January 1, 2019. The law provides for an adjustment every two years. Source:, jwu / rts / dpa “News and information at a glance. Collection of articles by on the topic of the Social Association Germany The participation of people with disabilities is to be strengthened. But experts do not go far enough the new Disability Equality Act, as it only affects public places.

Wheelchair users are protesting at the Reichstag building. There has not been such a plus for more than two decades: As of July, the 20 million German pensioners have significantly more in their wallets. But this does not mean that the debate on poverty in old age is off the table. How are poverty and wealth distributed in Germany?

How great are the risks of relegation? Researchers and social associations state: The East is no longer the poor house in Germany and the joy of a carefree life in old age is a mirage. In many jobs, the pleasure is probably limited.

But more and more people of retirement age are still working. In the past twelve years, the number of senior mini-jobbers has risen to more than 900,000. The recipients of Hartz IV can count on more help. Apparently the government wants to improve the salaries.

But for many the adjustment is too small. The social association even speaks of a “disaster” with regard to the services. The payments from the pension funds in Germany are adjusted upwards every year.

But the plus is often eaten up by inflation. Not this year: retirees actually get more money. The overall development is grim, however. The Paritätische Gesamtverband expresses concern.

There is a “poverty policy landslide”, never before has the gap between poor and rich countries been so great. The association identifies several risk groups. In Germany, more and more workers are falling below the poverty line. Statistics show: The number of people in employment who almost reach Hartz IV level is increasing. This also saves on eating.

One sixth of the German population is at acute risk of poverty, especially the elderly. Welfare associations are expecting a veritable “avalanche of poverty in old age”. But there is also positive news for this population group. The pensions are likely to increase somewhat in 2015 – the contribution rate will probably decrease. So is old-age insurance in solid waters?

No, says the Paritätische Gesamtverband. More and more people are threatened with a pension below the level of the basic security. “Social spending recently rose by almost four percent. (Photo: picture alliance / dpa) The German state is currently spending more than 900 billion euros on social benefits. Although the number of employees is increasing, these spending continue to rise. A social association sees this as a warning sign of a worrying development. Despite record employment, Germany spent 918 billion euros on social benefits last year. This became known from the Social Report 2017 by Social Minister Andrea Nahles, which the Federal Cabinet is now about to adopt.

Compared to 2015, these expenses have increased by 3.7 percent. They made up 29.3 percent of the gross domestic product, it said. In the previous year it was 29.2 percent. Above all, rising expenditure in pension and health insurance and for pensions are driving up social expenditure in Germany. According to the “Handelsblatt”, spending on social benefits could exceed the trillion mark by the end of the next legislative period and then amount to 1.1 trillion euros. Last week, the employers’ association BDA warned of rapidly rising social security contributions at the expense of jobs.

The social association VdK held against it that high social benefits despite low unemployment are a clear indication of many poorly paid jobs. People should be able to live from their work, said VdK President Ulrike Mascher. “Work has to be paid well. This also gives the social security systems a sustainable financial basis.” Incidentally, social expenditure is not a question of social benefits, but of necessary expenditure with which a society balances out social inequality, for example. “Social spending supports children and families, people with disabilities, pensioners or people in need of care,” argued Mascher. The BDA criticized that almost all parties wanted to significantly expand social benefits in the coming legislative period.

This threatens massive job losses. The association pleaded for a social consensus that the total contribution rate for the four central social insurances – health and long-term care insurance as well as pension and unemployment insurance – should not exceed the upper limit of 40 percent of gross wage costs. It is currently 39.95 percent. A good half of this is paid by the employee, correspondingly less by the employer. The German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) rejects the demand for a limit on social security contributions. DGB boss Reiner Hoffmann had said that limiting the contributions to 40 percent would mean that either benefits would be massively cut and thus burdens privatized or the burdens would only be passed on to the employees. “The DGB would not participate in this According to the Prognos study, around 90,000 jobs will be lost if total social security contributions increase by one percentage point.

According to these calculations, the contribution rates in the central branches of social insurance will rise to 48.8 percent by 2040 without legal intervention. And with legal intervention, for example in the case of pensions, the social contributions could even rise to 55.5 percent by 2040. Source:, kst / dpa “The well-being of children is often harmed in mass accommodation. (Photo: dpa) Almost half of those in Germany Future refugees are children and young people. Especially for them, the planned anchor centers are not a good idea at all, according to an open letter from numerous social associations. Numerous associations and civil society organizations view the planned anchor centers for refugees extremely critically. In a joint open letter Cities and municipalities as well as the ministries for the interior and family express their concern. On the basis of the previously known plans of Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer it is clear: “Anchor centers are not suitable places for children and young people,” said Meike Riebau, legal policy spokeswoman for Save the Children Germany. In the debate about anchor centers, the right and the well-being of children are demanded, in addition to Save the Children, among others, the Federal Association of Workers’ Welfare, the Paritätische Gesamtverband, the German Children’s Fund, Pro Asyl and SOS Kinderdorf. A total of 24 organizations point out that 45 percent of the last year went to Germany The refugees who came were children and young people. “Your rights must be taken into account in all proceedings.

This includes, for example, attending schools and kindergartens and an environment in which children can grow up safely and healthily, “it says in the letter. It is pedagogically and legally out of the question that children not only need special protection, but also elementary rights Riebau explained: “The best interests of the child must have priority over security-political considerations.” For a successful start in Germany, refugee children would need access to educational offers and health services in order to treat illnesses or to deal with traumatic experiences.