In all likelihood, Hartz IV will become the new citizens' allowance - the CDU/CSU, SPD, Greens and FDP have agreed on a compromise.
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Hartz IV on citizen income: A slap in the face for all workers and employees

By Florian Gurtler

In his comment, TAG24 editor Florian Gürtler (45) deals with the Hartz IV citizen benefit compromise and explains why this reform is bad for the unemployed and employees at the same time.

citizen money instead of Hartz IV: A very grand coalition of CDU/CSU, SPD, Greens and FDP has agreed – the result is a little reform that brings misfortune not only to those affected by the Hartz IV regime, but to all employees.

In all likelihood, Hartz IV will become the new citizens’ allowance – the CDU/CSU, SPD, Greens and FDP have agreed on a compromise. © Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa

To start with a supposedly positive aspect: Yes, the recipients of Hartz IV/citizen’s allowance will in all likelihood receive a little more money from January 1st, a single person will then receive a total of 502 euros plus the warm rent, an increase of around 50 Euros.

But even these numbers show that the so-called citizen money is nothing more than poverty by law. Because the increase has already been eaten up in advance by the massive price increases in energy and food in the recent past.

Those affected by Hartz IV or basic income will therefore continue to have to eke out a living in an extremely precarious situation. Should we face further waves of inflation – which is quite possible – the situation of these people will continue to deteriorate.

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But not only with the monthly benefits is the new citizens’ income just not an overcoming of Hartz IV, even if the Scholz-SPD will surely tell this fairy tale again and again.

Another serious point shows that the Hartz IV regime continues unchanged and only gets a new label.

Hartz IV and citizen’s income are attacks on all employees

TAG24 editor Florian Gürtler (45) lives and works in Frankfurt am Main.

TAG24 editor Florian Gürtler (45) lives and works in Frankfurt am Main. © Florian Gurtler

The notorious sanctions of Hartz IV also continue unchanged in the case of citizen income, because the sanction-free “trust period” of six months at the beginning of the payment originally wanted by the SPD was canceled without replacement under pressure from the Union parties.

From the beginning of receiving benefits, recipients of citizen’s income must also expect that their monthly payments, which are actually considered the minimum subsistence level, will be cut if they do not allow themselves to be pressed into any low-wage job without resistance.

The interplay of poverty and sanctions also makes the new basic income a regime of fear for those affected, just as is the case with Hartz IV.

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This degrading construction only superficially aims at the service recipients alone. In fact, Hartz IV/Bürgergeld is an attack on all workers.

Because the fear of slipping into the sanctions terror of the job center has an effect well into the middle class: Hartz IV or citizen benefit are disciplinary measures that are intended to ensure that workers and employees do not demand high wages from their employers because of their fear of unemployment judge.

The unemployed and the employed have a common interest

Employees and the unemployed should therefore not allow themselves to be incited against each other. They have a common interest in unemployment not leading to abject poverty and fear of sanctions.

With their compromise, however, the CDU/CSU, SPD, Greens and FDP have shown that they are not the parties of workers and employees – just as little as they are the parties of the unemployed.

Cover photo: Montage: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa, Florian Gürtler

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