Government planning extensive Hartz IV reforms

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German social affairs minister Ursula von der Leyen is planning corrections to the unemployment benefit known as Hartz IV that will have far-reaching consequences for the long-term unemployed.

 

According to a report in news magazine Der Spiegel, the changes will mean higher unemployment benefits.

 

But households with children will not receive extra money, though they will receive vouchers for sports and education activities, while school lunches will be paid directly by the local authority.

 

The actual extent of the increases is to be linked to inflation and the average wage in Germany. The link between unemployment benefits and pensions will be abandoned - according to the Social Affairs Ministry, this will mean that benefits will rise quicker than pensions.

 

110 words remaining. Click to read the full article.

 

Note: Comments posted below will also be published on The Local.

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Great, so Harz IV will continue to make more a month than I do busting my ass working. 20% unemployment here in this city and we are understaffed...when they make more a month than I do, no wonder they won't work. Good job Germany, great way to encourage the people to actually WORK.

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Amber, if you are making less than a Harz IV recipient, you can get Harz IV too, to top up your wages. I work as a manpower worker and most of my co-workers who have kids are taking a top up from Harz IV.

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Great, so Harz IV will continue to make more a month than I do busting my ass working. 20% unemployment here in this city and we are understaffed...when they make more a month than I do, no wonder they won't work. Good job Germany, great way to encourage the people to actually WORK.

 

 

In all fairness, part of the blame is on the employers as well. Many employers don't fill vacancies because they are being too picky , too safe, or too stuck up, I lost two opportunities just because my German was not perfect (I was told I had all the requirements, and to re-apply once I am fluent in German), and until now both vacancies are still there, so both companies are under staffed...so for some people who actually want to work but cannot find a job that takes them, it is only fair to get paid enough to put food on the table until they find a proper job , and pay back to the government/community/social system. The people at the job center have their ways of knowing who wants to work and who is too lazy, and they have the "special" 1 euro jobs in their drawers just to make such people suffer, in other words, the lazy people are paying for their laziness one way or another (if they don;t take the enforced 1 euro job they get less money), which makes the system somehow fair.

 

I am waiting to read more about this, and with all the details, but it doesn't make sense that people with kids don't get more money... they do consume more than smaller families...

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wassimik i cant understand this.Every person that lives in the household is entitled to Hartz 4.even the children.I know for a fact i have been there.2 adults 2 children 16 and 13 we are entitled to € 1403 a month.Wife has a mini job of up to € 400.But at Hartz 4 they check up on your finances.You are allowed € 200 per year of life ( Parents only) and the children are allowed to have a maximum of € 3100 in savings.So im 48 wife is 46 + € 6200 for the kids comes to a grand total of 25,000 and if you have anything over this then you are expected to live off the money yourself.This could include cashing in life insurances or pension schemes anything.If you have a car that is worth more than € 7,800 you are expected to sell it then buy a cheaper one.I was not told any of this by the guy at Hartz 4 i had to revise it all on the internet.A law was passed a while back that you have to be told of your rights at places like Hartz 4 and the Arbeitsamt without asking,this however is not the case.Of course being a normal parent and bread earner i have a life insurance and two private pensions and i have put a bit away for the girls for later on in life.AM NOT ENTITLED TO ANY BENEFITS.Pay in to system here for 28 years and get nothing back.

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If you had squandered away your money on drugs and alcohol, you would be entitled to benefits but because you were responsible and saved up, you are not. It's not exactly fair but then again, harz iv and other social assistance is on the basis of need. There has to be some limit or we would be giving harz iv to people who have new BMW's and live in million € mansions. The question is just where that limit should be exactly.

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Wassim, German is an essential skill for most jobs in Germany. Aside from not being able to function in the role, most employers are not going to assume all the employment risks, which might last for 30 or 40 years, of taking on someone who does not have that skill (even if they promise to attain it soon). They'd rather wait for the right person than take someone else.

 

I am also not convinced it is down to the German taxpayer to pay the living costs of every immigrant who might want come here and learn German before being employable. Is that how it works in Lebanon? I can pitch up with my accountancy skills and complete lack of Arabic if it suits my lifestyle, and Lebanese taxpayers will house me and give me enough money to live on and free healthcare while I take as long as I like to work my way to Arabic proficiency, because it is unreasonable that local companies might not want to employ me? (It sure doesn't happen in my home country).

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wassimik i cant understand this.Every person that lives in the household is entitled to Hartz 4.even the children.I know for a fact i have been there.2 adults 2 children 16 and 13 we are entitled to € 1403 a month.Wife has a mini job of up to € 400.But at Hartz 4 they check up on your finances.You are allowed € 200 per year of life ( Parents only) and the children are allowed to have a maximum of € 3100 in savings.So im 48 wife is 46 + € 6200 for the kids comes to a grand total of 25,000 and if you have anything over this then you are expected to live off the money yourself.This could include cashing in life insurances or pension schemes anything.If you have a car that is worth more than € 7,800 you are expected to sell it then buy a cheaper one.I was not told any of this by the guy at Hartz 4 i had to revise it all on the internet.A law was passed a while back that you have to be told of your rights at places like Hartz 4 and the Arbeitsamt without asking,this however is not the case.Of course being a normal parent and bread earner i have a life insurance and two private pensions and i have put a bit away for the girls for later on in life.AM NOT ENTITLED TO ANY BENEFITS.Pay in to system here for 28 years and get nothing back.

 

 

Exactly, each person is entitled to a specific ammount by Hartz IV law, but the children do get less , because of the kindergeld, in the brief we got where everything was explained, my daughter got a certain ammount, then the ammount of the kindergeld was subtracted from her "allowance" , lowering the total number to 100 euro per month (the paper is not next to me, so am giving a ca. number)

 

Can you please tell me where you found the piece of information about the 200 euro per life year as right of savings? When we applied, they told us that we are not allowed to have more than 3500 euro in the bank account, and that if we buy a car , it has to be cheaper than 3500 , and the value of the car will be added to our money in the bank. My father in law has 2400 in stocks in my wife's bank account, so that's money we can't touch, every month we empty the account and put the money in a cookie jar at home so we wouldn't be accused of saving! Planning to buy a cheap car (because of my upcoming surgery), we will register it in her dad's name and us as "besitzer" ... as in we pay taxes and insurance, but not our car...

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Wassim, German is an essential skill for most jobs in Germany. Aside from not being able to function in the role, most employers are not going to assume all the employment risks, which might last for 30 or 40 years, of taking on someone who does not have that skill (even if they promise to attain it soon). They'd rather wait for the right person than take someone else.

 

I am also not convinced it is down to the German taxpayer to pay the living costs of every immigrant who might want come here and learn German before being employable. Is that how it works in Lebanon? I can pitch up with my accountancy skills and complete lack of Arabic if it suits my lifestyle, and Lebanese taxpayers will house me and give me enough money to live on and free healthcare while I take as long as I like to work my way to Arabic proficiency, because it is unreasonable that local companies might not want to employ me? (It sure doesn't happen in my home country).

 

 

Well in Lebaon no one will bitch at you about not speaking Arabic unless you apply for low level jobs. The business language is English , or French in some companies. In places where companies are Italian or German for example, most employees in there wouldn't speak but their native language and some English, and they have secretaries to handle the Arabic part for them , until they learn, if they want.

 

We virtually have no social system in Lebanon, it is only there for health coverage (you get "insured" but in a very bad way) , which drives us all to private insurers as an add-on, and some pension plan which sometimes does not even get paid due to the "amt" not having enough funds, or waiting to see if a war will happen or not, messed up country, I know.

 

If you are Lebanese and out of a job, you don't have any rights from the government whatsoever, nothing , nada, zilch. If you are a house renter , or have a lease on your house, start packing the minute you lose your job, within a month or two you and your family will be on the street, unless you are lucky and found a job that fast.

 

 

Swimmer, I did not plan for the Hartz IV, nor am I proud of it, you and me have crossed paths in a thread I opened before coming to Germany, and me asking what was the fastest to find a job the minute I step foot in Germany, my plan was to work , and learn German on the spot. Now with the situation getting screwed up , and everything going in a bad way, all plans destroyed, my family comes first. And my wife is German in the end of the day, so she has the right for it, more than anyone else, and if a foreigner does not like it, then he can leave the country... it IS her country in the end of the day ... which made me apply , and use the system, and hopefully when my German is up to speed I can pay back everything I got in a couple of month's taxes... I know what am worth in the appropriate job, and I hope to reach it again one day.

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Amber, if you are making less than a Harz IV recipient, you can get Harz IV too, to top up your wages. I work as a manpower worker and most of my co-workers who have kids are taking a top up from Harz IV.

 

My husband earns too much. If I were to lose my job I most likely wouldn't receive any benefits. Possibly a cheaper krippe spot, but if I wasn't working I might lose that since there are not enough spots for working people.

 

There are women I work with who do receive the HarzIV top up only if they men don't work, and they have kids. One woman by me had it but she has to pay some back because she earned too much, but she has no kids and an unemployed man. He still receives his benefits.

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The kind of job I am doing, we are making around 1150 to 1250 a month before taxes. Some of the guys then have a stay home wife and anything up to 7 kids and of course they can not support all that on these wages, hence harz iv kicks in.

 

Harz iv is on a need to basis and if your husband makes enough money for you both, why should you get it? Same as if the worker with a stay home wife and x kids were making more money, he would also not get it.

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The kind of job I am doing, we are making around 1150 to 1250 a month before taxes. Some of the guys then have a stay home wife and anything up to 7 kids and of course they can not support all that on these wages, hence harz iv kicks in.

 

Harz iv is on a need to basis and if your husband makes enough money for you both, why should you get it? Same as if the worker with a stay home wife and x kids were making more money, he would also not get it.

 

I make less than that.

 

I am not asking for it, I don't want it or need it. You mentioned I can get a top up. I can't and don't need it. I only work to pay for my daughters krippe spot, which isn't cheap either.

 

I am not against them, at least they are working. I think the system should not pay more than people who work full time jobs. All across the service industry they earn less than a person on HarzIV with 2 kids...

 

Again everyones situation is not the same, but where I work we have an extreme shortage of workers. All across Meck Pomm in the Hotel industry are shortages...and we still have oer 15-20% unemployment. They told people with bad Real Abschluss to apply for ausbildungs places...there are jobs, no one wants them. Sad...staying at home sitting on the couch and getting fat watching HarzIV tv is better.

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The problem is that doing a worker job like this is completely dead end. Why would somebody do that if they can get the same amount of money from harz iv? I feel that the guys I work with like getting out of the house and feeling like they are doing something but I have also met somebody who was on harz iv, doing a 1€ job half day and said really, why should he take a worker job doing 8 hours a day and make himself tired when he gets the same from harz iv. I definitely understand that point of view although I would never do that myself.

 

As for ausbildungsplatz. Great. I was offered one when I moved to Germany. The wages were something like 400€ a month. I can't live on that. I asked ARGE if I could get any support on top of that. They said no. I could have done it and lived on my savings for a bit but once you finish your ausbildung, there is also no guarantee you stay employed either. Your employer can say, sorry, can't afford another fully qualified employee, I will look for a new apprentice now who will work for peanuts and then the person is back on unemployment or harz iv.

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The problem is that doing a worker job like this is completely dead end. Why would somebody do that if they can get the same amount of money from harz iv? I feel that the guys I work with like getting out of the house and feeling like they are doing something but I have also met somebody who was on harz iv, doing a 1€ job half day and said really, why should he take a worker job doing 8 hours a day and make himself tired when he gets the same from harz iv. I definitely understand that point of view although I would never do that myself.

 

As for ausbildungsplatz. Great. I was offered one when I moved to Germany. The wages were something like 400€ a month. I can't live on that. I asked ARGE if I could get any support on top of that. They said no. I could have done it and lived on my savings for a bit but once you finish your ausbildung, there is also no guarantee you stay employed either. Your employer can say, sorry, can't afford another fully qualified employee, I will look for a new apprentice now who will work for peanuts and then the person is back on unemployment or harz iv.

 

 

Unfortunately some people lack ethics. Better to work and do something with yourself no matter how bad it is. My job is also a dead end, and I am very over qualified for my job, but I lack German skills to get something better.

 

I don't mean for older people, there are many younger people going from school straight to HarzIV...Younger people can live on this money, which is why it is so low. I have seen plenty of jobs in many of the ausbildungs places...the jobs suck, service industry...but a job is a job.

 

Maybe I still have too much old school American thought in me. You do what ever job you can do or find to make money. It doesn't matter what it is, as long as it brings money home and puts food on the table. Or in my case, my daugther in the Kita. No job, no food, no house, no nothing...if you don't want to work, you shouldn't receive money.

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I don't mean for older people, there are many younger people going from school straight to HarzIV...Younger people can live on this money, which is why it is so low. I have seen plenty of jobs in many of the ausbildungs places...the jobs suck, service industry...but a job is a job.

 

 

This is so true.

So many of the azubis where I work go unemployed after finishing their ausbildung because they are offered 6 month contracts on a ridiculously low wage that they're as well off or only slightly worse off than they would be on HarzIV.

A lot of the blame also needs to be placed on the employers who while their companies make hefty profits they pay their staff ridiculously low wages because they know there are people out there who have no option but to take the job no matter how bad it is.

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Normally you don't need to return Hartz IV money. Maybe if you lied and cheated to get money you were not supposed to get, then they might want you to pay it back.

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