Habeck: Construction of the debt brake ‘not very clever’

BERLIN (dpa-AFX) – Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck 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 distinguish 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.

The debt brake “was also built in a different time, when we always had cheap gas from Russia, when China was always our workbench or our purchase market, when the Americans were always reliable, loyal friends and relieved us of the military burden because there was none There was war in Europe,” said Habeck. These conditions have changed.

The debate about the debt brake is still not helping this year. “There is a coalition agreement, the coalition partners and also the opposition have made it clear that they do not share my opinion and that of many others, many economists. In this respect, this is probably a decisive, perhaps a very decisive debate for the future. For them “In the present we will have to find the money differently,” said the Economics Minister.

The debt brake anchored in the Basic Law gives the federal government only limited scope for taking out loans. Exceptions are permitted in the event of natural disasters and in exceptional emergency situations, such as most recently due to the corona pandemic and the war in Ukraine. The debt brake is one of the FDP’s central election promises, but it is controversial in parts of the Greens and SPD.

Last week, the Federal Constitutional Court declared a reallocation of loans worth 60 billion euros in the 2021 budget to be null and void. They were approved to deal with the Corona crisis, but should be used for climate protection and the modernization of the economy. Now the billions are not available. It is unclear to what extent the ruling could have consequences for the handling of debt-financed special funds at the federal and state levels./kli/DP/zb