The citizen money is to replace Hartz IV.
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Millions of people in need can hope for higher government benefits and more thorough support from the job centers in the new year.

Berlin – Millions of people in need can hope for higher government benefits and more thorough support from the job centers in the new year.

The citizen money is to replace Hartz IV. © Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa

After the basic agreement between the traffic light coalition and the CDU/CSU opposition, the Mediation Committee of the Bundestag and Bundesrat also approved the changes on Wednesday evening.

The German Press Agency learned this from participants. The law now has to be formally confirmed by both houses. That is considered safe. The reform is intended to replace the old Hartz IV system.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (64, SPD) promised earlier in the general debate in the Bundestag:

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“We ensure that work is worth more than at any time in a CDU-led federal government.” Citizens’ income is to start on January 1st with significantly higher standard rates in basic security.

However, essential parts of the reform are not to come into force until July 1st: The job centers are to draw up a plan with each and every unemployed person concerned, in which the intended path back to regular work is determined.

Representatives of the Bundestag, the federal states and the federal government sat in the German Bundesrat during the negotiations of the mediation committee of the Bundestag and Bundesrat on the planned citizens' allowance.

Representatives of the Bundestag, the federal states and the federal government sat in the negotiations of the mediation committee of the Bundestag and Bundesrat on the planned citizens’ allowance in the German Bundesrat. © Bernd von Jutrczenka/dpa

Scholz defended the reform against previous criticism from the Union. What distinguishes the federal government from the SPD, Greens and FDP from the CDU and CSU is “apparently the image that we have of the citizens of our country”.

The Union had criticized various regulations as being too lenient and warned that this could be at the expense of taxpayers and contributors.

In the current crisis, many people are not only worried about high energy and food prices, but above all about their jobs and the future of their business, said Scholz. “That shows one thing very clearly: the citizens want to work and they want to be able to make a decent living from their work.”

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Because the Bundesrat, unlike the Bundestag, had not approved the draft by Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (50, SPD), the federal government called the mediation committee. Tuesday’s compromise indicated that he would agree. The meeting lasted relatively short.

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