Conflict in the coalition: agreement in the basic pension dispute


Olaf Scholz on Sunday in Berlin
Picture: dpa

After months of strife, the grand coalition has agreed on a compromise on land rent. People who receive only a small pension in spite of a long contribution period should receive a premium, according to Berlin.

NAfter months of negotiations, the grand coalition has settled its dispute over the basic pension. The leaders of the CDU, CSU and SPD agreed on Sunday after more than five hours of negotiations on a compromise, as the German press agency learned from negotiating circles. People who receive only a small pension in spite of a long contribution period should be granted a premium. It has long been a matter of debate whether the benefit should be linked to a means test, how many people should receive the pension supplement and how expensive it should be. The three party leaders Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU), Markus SOder (CSU) and Malu Dreyer (SPD) wanted to announce the agreement at 16.45 in the Chancellery.

An agreement was also considered complicated because the coalition leaders would have to compromise in their parties. Both in the Union and in the SPD there are considerable internal reservations about possible variants of a basic pension. Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz must represent a compromise at the SPD party conference in early December, if he should be elected there after the upcoming runoff election for the new party leader. Kramp-Karrenbauer would also have to tackle considerable reservations about the basic rent in the economic wing of her party.

Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) had met on Sunday at 9:00 clock with the party and political leaders of CDU and CSU for preliminary consultations in the Chancellery. Around 10.00 clock joined the acting SPD chairman Dreyer, fraction leader Rolf Mutzenich, Vice Chancellor Scholz and Labor Minister Hubertus Heil added.

The Union had insisted on the widest possible means test for recipients of the basic pension. The SPD was against it and wanted to serve the serve as many retirees. Merkel had introduced the word "needs test" in a meeting of the Union faction on Tuesday. What was meant was that before the payment of the basic pension it was not the assets that had to be checked, but with the help of data from the tax offices, the income of the pensioners.

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