Family and children

Federal Council resolution: More money for children from low-income families

Summary

Berlin (dpa) – Higher child allowance, more money to start school, stronger support, especially for single parents: Children and low-income families can count on more state benefits from the middle of the year. The Federal Council passed a law of […]

Resolution of the Federal Council: More money for children from low-income families.  The change in the law provides for an increase in the child allowance and the school starter package.

Berlin (dpa) – Higher child allowance, more money to start school, stronger support, especially for single parents: Children and low-income families can count on more state benefits from the middle of the year.

The Federal Council passed a law of the federal government, which this referred to as the strong family law. The grand coalition of the Union and the SPD sees this as an important step against child poverty in Germany.

Child allowance

The law stipulates that the child allowance will increase from 170 euros to 185 euros per month. It will also be easier to apply for it in the future. There have also been changes to how the child allowance is offset against the income of the children. It only reduces the surcharge by 45 percent instead of 100 percent as before.

The Bundestag has removed the 100 euro limit originally provided for in the draft law in order to better reach single parents with older children in particular. He has thus taken up a demand from the Federal Council.

In addition, the law abolishes the so-called abortion edge, which has so far abruptly eliminated the child allowance. And: The parents’ own income will in future only reduce the child allowance by 45 percent. Basically, families with low incomes can apply for a child allowance in addition to child benefit. The child must be under 25 years of age. The maximum income limit is determined individually for each family. It depends on the cost of living.

School starter package

According to the Federal Council press office, the chances of education and social participation of children from low-income families should also be improved. The school starter package will be increased from 100 to 150 euros. The parents’ own contributions for lunch in daycare centers and schools as well as for school transport do not apply. In addition, the entitlement to learning support will in future exist regardless of any risk of transfer. In addition, the subsidy for association fees increases. The Bundestag has thus implemented a further demand by the Bundesrat.

Federal Family Minister Franziska Giffey (SPD) underlined in the Federal Council meeting that two million of the total of 13 million children in Germany could benefit from this regulation. During a debate in the Bundestag she had already said that two million children lived in families in which money was scarce because their parents received social benefits or had low incomes because they were salespeople, craftsmen and hairdressers.

Critical voices

Bremen’s Senator for Finance Karoline Linnert (Greens) welcomed the law as a further step in the right direction. However, more should now follow. She complained that applying for the benefits still contained relatively difficult hurdles. At the moment, only 35 percent of those actually eligible would receive the child allowance.

The German Children’s Fund also welcomes the law as a first step towards combating child poverty in Germany. The association criticized at the same time: “The law creates some relief for families with low incomes, a comprehensive prioritization of the promotion of poor families and their children as well as unbureaucratic access to the services, however, still fall by the wayside.”

The law is now to come into force in stages. The key dates July 1, 2019 and January 1, 2020 apply to the changes in the child allowance.