Right, Left, Up, Down…

But mostly down. That’s where Germany’S SPD keeps going in the popularity ratings these days.

SPD

Their latest act of desperation? Turning back the hands of time and abolishing the one reform the SPD ever managed to get right (Hartz IV). Nobody’s buying it, of course, “social” (free) gifts or not. There is no going back and somebody else already ate your free lunch.

The SPD wants to replace Hartz IV, the basic welfare benefit — currently €428 ($484) per month — with a basic income. They also want to extend the period of time that older people, from age 58, receive unemployment benefits, to 33 months from 24 months. Younger people, too, will receive unemployment benefits for longer, taking into consideration how long they contributed to the welfare system when they had work. Those who are jobless should have the right to further training, the 17-page welfare state concept says.

“We are overcoming what we recognized as not having been the right route.”

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