Thursday, January 12, 2017

Budget: what to do with the excess billions? – Handelsblatt

Wolfgang Schäuble

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble wants to use the additional money for debt repayment.

(photo: Reuters/Toru Hanai)

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) wants to take advantage of the in 2016, generated the budget surplus of the Federal government of 6.2 billion euros to reduce debt. Instead of the previous financial reserve for the refugee costs from just under 13 billion Euro increase should be used the extra money to pay down debt, it said on Thursday, in the Federal Ministry of Finance in Berlin.

A proposal to Amend the Etatvorgaben going to the Parliament. Now is not the time for a tax debate for new desires elsewhere, it should be emphasized, was. The debt repayment is the most sensible measure and a Signal to the international partners. The coalition calls for more investment, and fiscal reductions. In the Union there was also encouragement to reduce debt. The Federal government is good to 1.27 trillion euros in debt. “Because it will not harm even begin to repay what”, it said.

Together, Federal government, Länder, municipalities and social insurance were € 19.2 billion more than they spent. This sum corresponds to a Surplus of 0.6 percent of gross domestic product, as the Federal Statistical office announced on Thursday in Berlin. For the Federal statisticians reported a Surplus of 10.4 billion euros. That he turns out to be higher, is located on different calculation methods. So the statistician include, among other things, also for 2016 in addition, the planned € 3.5 billion for local investment in the Plus from the Federal government. This money is flown down in 2016.

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It is the second budget Surplus of the Federal government in a row. The Plus is about half lower than in 2015. Consolidation, Surplus, and at the same time, a boost to Investment. Schäuble benefited 2016 credits out of a total of 5.5 billion euros, as well as higher tax revenues than planned. Also, the Bundesbank profit was higher.

Actually, should flow to the budget Surplus in accordance with the rules in force automatically in the already formed reserve for the financing of the refugee costs. By the end of 2015 Schäuble had reserved a budget surplus of more than EUR 12 billion. This in 2016 and 2017, to about 6.1 billion or 6.7 billion euros should be used for the Integration of refugees.

The reserve had to be used. It needs to be filled in 2018, however, still a budget hole of about five billion euros. In addition, there are other uncertainties, it said. So there are no additional financial leeway.

The planned deleveraging of the Legacy of the financial and economic crisis in 2009, the investment and repayment Fund (ITF). Here, debt has already been repaid. This special class of assets was a debt of 18.7 billion Euro according to 21,022 billion by the end of 2015.

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at the end of November had decided the Cabinet of Ministers a supplementary budget for 2016, which is still in the parliamentary deliberations. The Schäuble proposed debt is to be taken into account now.

With the Nachtragsetat increases the Federal the rehabilitation program for dilapidated schools in financially weak municipalities, thanks to lower interest expenditure by a further 3.5 billion Euro to seven billion Euro, he has the investment expenditure increases in 2016 so already. Often money is starting to flow, but only sparsely. Reason, lack of planning capacity in States and municipalities. The total expenditure of the Federal government were in 2016, according to the provisional Figures, without additions to the reserve – 311,2 billion euros.


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