News Unconditional Basic Income: Unions calling for alternatives

News Unconditional Basic Income: Unions calling for alternatives

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Monday, 30.04.18 , written by Annabell Meyer Money from the state without return – The proposal of an unconditional basic income has long been in the room. The aim is to make the labor market more flexible and provide financial security. The project has not been successful so far. Just in time for Labo 

Kritik von Gewerkschaften: Scheitert bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen?

Does the unconditional basic income run out of air?

  • The unconditional basic income has not been a contentious issue in Germany for many years.
  • In particular, employers warn against a sinking motivation among many employees.
  • Now, unions are also criticizing the project and advocating more sensible alternatives.

For years in Germany on the proposal of an unconditional basic income (BGE) is discussed. This should serve as financial security for all people – regardless of whether pensioners, students, long-term unemployed or gainfully employed. While basic income model projects have already been launched in countries such as Finland, the project has not been successful in Germany so far. Too great is the criticism from the side of politics and the economy .

After the attempt to basic income in Finland does not continue, the plan could be in Germany soon finally off the table. Because even unions clearly oppose it.

What does the unconditional basic income mean?

The unconditional basic income represents state support, which is not tied to any prerequisites. All citizens receive a state income without compensation or proof of need. This should serve to enable every person to fulfill their necessary basic needs . This includes, above all, enough money for food, clothes and an apartment.

In addition, the basic income should enable more flexibility in working life, for example, when starting up a business and family planning. With the BGE people would therefore have a regular income, so that existential fears could be reduced . The basic income will be financed by means of taxation. However, it is disputed how high a possible BGE could turn out.

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Digitization threatens jobs: basic income is not a solution

The plan of a BGE causes harsh criticism in both the economy and trade unions. “The call for an unconditional basic income is an absolute misorientation, ” explains, for example, the chairman of the German Trade Union Confederation, Reiner Hoffmann, against the editorial network Germany. He sees particularly critical that the basic income should serve to cushion the threat of job loss in the course of digitization.

The head of IG Metall, Jörg Hofmann, joins the DGB chairman and underlines in the Heilbronner voice that “people are not happy when they are sitting at home and being fed. They want to work and to be as qualified as possible “. In his opinion, instead of a BGE, it is important to prepare workers at an early stage for the new demands in the workplace, such as increasing digitization.

Hofmann receives support from the German Institute for Economic Research. Its president, Marcel Fratzscher, demands of the federal government higher investments in further education measures . He proposes that € 20,000 should be made available to each adult to finance retraining, further qualifications and nursing care.

Berlin SPD proposes solidarity basic income

For many employers, one major criticism of the basic income is that it may reduce employee motivation. In addition, there is a risk that some people will rely on state payment rather than pursuing a job. As an alternative to the unconditional basic income, the mayor of Berlin Michael Müller (SPD) has therefore called for a so-called solidarity basic income .

Here, people without work should get state support, if in return they do charitable work. Accordingly, the state offers them a job at a minimum wage level of about 1,200 euros net per month. If this is not accepted, the person concerned will instead receive the existing benefits.

Müller sees in this project an alternative to the previous Hartz IV concept. His proposal, however, already reaps criticism. So social researcher Christoph Butterwegge speaks of a so-called “label fraud”. In his opinion , the jobs would have to be paid by tariff, in order to meet the solidarity principle.

Tip: Without basic income, many people face financial ruin when they can no longer work. About one in four Germans become disabled. It is all the more important to take out a disability insurance in good time for this case. With a personal offer you will find the individual protection.

  • Here you will find tips and more information on occupational disability insurance. >
  • Annabell Meyer
  • editorial staff

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