Since then the SPD open the abolition of Hartz IV calls for a debate on the future of basic security. So far, the Union has opposed the reform, underlining the success of Gerhard Schröder's labor market reform. Critics such as the left criticize, however, that the system is inhuman.
The reason for this statement are among other things the penalties, which are a thorn in the eyes of many. As brutal sanctions can affect the recipients of Hartz IV, a man from Erfurt has lived in the first person.
The recipient of Hartz IV did not want to work and was sanctioned
The man had a clear idea of his new job: he wanted to sell. What is the Erfurt Jobcenter Hartz IV recipients it was, but it was a work in the warehouse of a large fashion mail order.
The unemployed had an education in the storage area. The work could then adapt and be reasonable – at least this was the mediator in thought job Center,
But the man wanted to sell and refused the offer. Later he also renounced the option of an internship as a seller. The result: the work center cut it short Unemployment benefits II first for three months of 30% and immediately thereafter for another three months of 60%.
Hartz IV: how much reduction is legitimate?
If such sentences are legitimate with Hartz IV, it will soon be decided by the Federal Constitutional Court
– in the specific case of Thuringia, but also in general. It is less the amount with which the unemployment benefit II is reduced.
It concerns the fundamental question, if Hartz IV it can be abbreviated at all In 2017, the employment center reduced the benefits of 34,000 Hartz IV recipients.
The sanctions laid down in the social code II are set out in clause 31. Some earlier pages, however, also state that government-funded income tax should guarantee livelihood. May the state, even if only for a short time, be inferior to that of needy people subsistence to pay?
Serious rebuke of the left
This is not the only controversy since the German Supreme Court deals with it. The discussion has accompanied Hartz's laws since its introduction 14 years ago. Therefore, the SPD proposes changes. In his new welfare state program, he wants to "abolish inappropriate and unworthy sanctions".
The left goes further and wants to eliminate the punishment altogether. They were "an attack on human dignity" as a party leader Katja Kipping He says. Even more: Kipping accuses the federal government and the Federal Employment Agency, the Number of recipients of Hartz IV wrongly punished display.
"The practice of sanctions is still pampered," he told our editors. Human suffering and injustice inflicted on human beings have long been known. "But now we see that apparently the number of those affected has been underestimated".
The Hartz IV penalties are considered an exception
This is a serious charge. It weighs even harder, because the Hartz reforms and the existing structure of the Federal Employment Agency were among other things a consequence of the false figures of mediation. Is he now threatening a new scandal for low specific penalty numbers?
Both the head of the Federal Employment Agency, Detlef Scheele, and the competent Federal Employment Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) always submit penalties for Hartz receivers -IV as an exception.
Official number of Hartz IV recipients affected: three percent
Measured against about four million earnings, only "a little bit" of them would arrive sanctions busy, then with one Reduction of their servicessays Scheele.
Every month, only about three percent of the recipients of unemployment benefits II meet, and even Minister Heil always discusses the number of Hartz IV beneficiaries with only three percent.
Left: Hartz IV penalties are more than double
The left head Katja Kipping, however, comes to a much higher number. According to his calculation, based on data from the Federal Agency for the year 2017, which asked the party leader, more than twice as many recipients were punished as authorities and the federal government always states.
Exactly it is 8.3 percent, Kipping told our editors. "In 2017, at least one in twelve recipients of Hartz IV employable has been hit by at least one penalty," said Kipping. If only beneficiaries under 25 are considered, the share is nine percent. This is almost an eleventh, the benefits would be cut.
Hartz IV sanctions: these numbers are called on the left
But how does the left to be three times more valuable than the Federal Agency and the Minister of Labor? The reason lies in the statistics. The head of the left asked two figures for the federal agency: first, the number of people who received Hartz IV grants in 2017. That was 5.52 million.
On the other hand, he wanted to know how many of these beneficiaries received at least one fine. There were 456.822 people. This translates into 8.3 percent share.
Hartz IV sanctions: this is what the Federal Agency expects
The Federal Agency takes a different approach in determining its lower penalty rate: every month counts how many recipients of Hartz IV employable have been hit by a penalty on a particular day.
"This monthly expiry fee has the advantage of being differentiated and localized for each work center," says an agency spokesperson. The numbers are well comparable.
On the contrary, the data that the head of the left asked "answer the question about how many people have been hit by a penalty at least once in a given period of time".
The answer can be determined only for the whole of Germany, explains the spokesperson and admits: "For the projection of the aggregate of the presences for the employment centers, there is not yet a uniform concept".
Both quotas are justified
In other words Both rates are correct. But they answer two different questions. The leader of the party Kipping admits this and tries to explain a realistic example: who asks how many people in a year are flu sick, get a different answer than someone who asks how many people on December 15 have suffered from flu, Kipping is still there : "The federal government is doing the world as you like it".
The left also wants to cling to the fight against sanctions – just as the Federal Agency and the Minister of Labor are still convinced that sanctions can not be completely abolished.
Ten percent reduction in benefit for "fault reporting"
The head of the Scheele agency always emphasizes that most of the sanctions concern "reporting of bankruptcies". This means that a Hartz IV receiver does not appear on an agreed date. Ten percent of the benefits will be reduced to one penalty.
"It takes a very small number of people as a toolbox, so that a mediator can prevail and does not become the supplicant of the one who receives a benefit from the state," Scheele says. The question of penalties for non-perceived appointments is "absurd".
The Constitutional Court decides on legality
More controversial are the sanctions that work centers impose if no agreed training offers or job offers are accepted.
- If this happens more than once a year, the unemployment benefit II can even be completely canceled for three months.
- What remains is therefore only the rent for the apartment.
- If this is compatible with the Basic Law it will be decided by the judges of Karlsruhe.
Hartz IV sanctions criticism
The Städtetag already has a clear opinion: for the young unemployed the Hartz IV sanctions are "inhuman".
Some measures are absurd, it is shown by the example of a recipient of Hartz IV, who should solve the tasks of primary school.
The innovations of Hartz IV have already been taken into consideration. The leader of the SPD, Andrea Nahles, underlines from time to time that they want to leave Hartz IV behind.