The sanctions for recipients of social assistance will be relaxed until the expected entry into force of the citizens’ benefit planned by the federal government. With the votes of the SPD, Greens and FDP, the Bundestag passed a law on Thursday to suspend the Hartz IV sanctions for one year. Reductions in benefits are therefore only possible after repeated failure to report and are limited to ten percent of the standard requirement.

In 2019, the Federal Constitutional Court decided that a reduction in basic security by more than 30 percent endangers the subsistence level and is therefore not permissible. However, the judges generally judged the obligation to participate to be constitutional.

Next year, the coalition of SPD, Greens and FDP wants to introduce a so-called citizen’s allowance, which will replace the previous basic security and also regulate the so-called obligations of the unemployed to cooperate. Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) has announced a bill to introduce citizen income for the summer.

The Union criticized the extensive abolition of sanctions. The left, on the other hand, called for the sanctions for failure to register to be abandoned. The federal government estimates that the moratorium will result in additional spending of around twelve million euros for this year. The largest part – around 11.6 million euros – is accounted for by the federal government, the rest by the states.