Merkel defies cdu critics: care allowance to be introduced

Merkel defies cdu critics: care allowance to be introduced

Government spokesman steffen seibert said in berlin on monday: "the political decision in the coalition has been made."The CSU insists on a cash payment of the childcare allowance – the coalition had agreed on this last november as well.

According to a representative survey by the colonnese opinion research institute yougov for the news agency dpa, the population is split on this question. And in the union, as in all other parties, a majority is in favor of investing the money instead in the expansion of daycare centers for children. A central fear is that socially disadvantaged parents and migrant families will not benefit from the money for their children and that they will not be sufficiently challenged without a daycare place.

Union faction leader volker kauder (CDU) made it clear that he expects a compromise in the coalition, but called on the critics in the CDU to stop publicly venting their anger. The dispute has flared up again because 23 CDU members of parliament have announced that they will not vote for the agreement. CDU member of parliament karl-georg wellmann called on chancellor and CDU leader merkel to stop the "unfug-gesetz" in the "bild" newspaper.

Childcare allowance now seen as explosive issue for black-yellow coalition. However, it is mainly a dispute between the CDU and the CSU. The FDP is largely indifferent to this benefit. It is to be 100 euros a month initially from 2013, and 150 euros a month from 2014. For this, 1.2 billion must be budgeted annually in the federal budget. By the summer break, the ministry of family affairs will have drafted a bill.

CSU secretary general alexander dobrindt told "spiegel online": "the care allowance has been agreed and must come, there is nothing left to negotiate about. (…) anyone who wants to change the childcare allowance must know that they are also calling into question other coalition agreements."

Seibert said the government stands by the decision of the coalition partners CDU, CSU and FDP from last november. Parents had the freedom to choose how they want to care for their children up to the age of three or have them cared for. For this, on the one hand, the expansion of daycare centers is to be financially demanded and, on the other hand, a childcare allowance is to be introduced.

Kauder stated in a press release: "in designing a care allowance, we will find a solution that can also be supported by critics."He did not elaborate on what this solution might look like. He warned: "I urge everyone to keep this consultation process internal and not to complicate it with public declarations."

Grunewald chairwoman claudia rothe accused merkel of being unreasonable. The planned law is stupid in terms of education and integration policy and wrong in terms of labor market policy. Left-wing party leader gesine lotzsch spoke of "active discrimination".

According to the yougov survey, more than 70 percent of CDU/CSU and FDP sympathizers, as well as the general population, expect that a childcare allowance will discourage poorer or so-called educationally disadvantaged parents from sending their child to a childcare facility. 45 percent of the population think the project is basically right, another 45 percent think it is wrong. In bavaria, the result is hardly any different, despite strong support from the CSU-led state government.

The chairwoman of the CSU parliamentary group in the bundestag, gerda hasselfeldt, insisted in the "bild" newspaper on the agreements and refuted the accusation that parents were not spending the money on their children. Two-thirds of families in bavaria looked after their children at home in the first years of their lives. "These are not people who stand around the stove or drink away their money," she said.

Her deputy, max straubinger, described the resistance of the 23 CDU deputies as a "rebellion against the coalition agreement". At the same time, he expressed his conviction in the "passauer neue presse" (monday) that the childcare allowance will not fail. "We will once again hold an intensive discussion in the parliamentary group."

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