DThe federal government apparently assesses the effects of the Federal Constitutional Court’s ruling on the climate fund as more serious than previously assumed. According to information from the Reuters news agency, on Monday the Federal Ministry of Finance extended the budget freeze imposed on the Climate and Transformation Fund (KTF) to almost the entire federal budget. This emerges from a letter from Budget State Secretary Werner Gatzer, which was available to Reuters and the news magazine Spiegel in the evening.
In response to a Reuters query late in the evening, the Ministry of Finance said that commitment authorizations in the current budget would be stopped in order to avoid prior burdens for future years. “Existing obligations will continue to be met, but no new ones may be entered into,” it was emphasized. Elsewhere in the government, it was also made clear that Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) was not going it alone: “It has been agreed upon and sensible.”
Gatzer: Review of the entire budget situation
Gatzer’s letter states: “In order to avoid further prior burdens for future financial years, I therefore intend to block with immediate effect all commitment authorizations that are still available in individual plans 04 to 17 and 23 to 60 of the 2023 federal budget.” Gatzer points out Paragraph 41 of the Federal Budget Code, which regulates a budget freeze. The individual budgets of all ministries are affected by the individual plans mentioned. Individual plan 60 includes the climate and transformation fund and the 200 billion euro defense shield to curb energy prices. According to the, the exceptions are: List of constitutional bodies such as the Federal President, the Bundestag, the Bundesrat and the Federal Constitutional Court.
The Federal Constitutional Court canceled 60 billion euros from the federal government on Wednesday because the transfer of unused Corona loans to the climate fund was unconstitutional. The government now lacks the money. There are also further clarifications from the court on the debt brake in the Basic Law and the legality of loans, which could also have consequences for the current 2023 budget and the planned 2024 budget. On the day the verdict was announced, Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) ordered a budget freeze only for the climate fund.
As a result of the judgment, there is a “need for the federal budget to review the overall budgetary situation,” writes Gatzer. After the budget freeze, the ministries “sought for the release of commitment authorizations (…) in special individual cases, I can only do so if it is objectively presented in writing and “present the prospect of unavoidable needs in time”. “A particularly strict standard is applied to prove such a need”.
SPD criticizes debt brake
Against the background of recent events, Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck said that he considers the debt brake in its current form to be no longer up to date. “Personally, I make no secret of the fact that I think the way the German debt brake is designed is not intelligent enough,” said Habeck on Monday evening on the ARD “Tagesthemen”. It is “very static” and does not differentiate between money that is spent during the year and investments in the future that will only pay off years later. That doesn’t seem wise to him, said the Green politician.
This news article has been translated from the original language to English by WorldsNewsNow.com.
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