Home USA News The German parliament has stopped a plan to reform unemployment benefits

The German parliament has stopped a plan to reform unemployment benefits

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BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s upper house of parliament on Monday blocked a proposed reform of the country’s unemployment benefits system, …

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s upper house of parliament on Monday blocked a proposed reform of the country’s unemployment benefits system, a central policy of the government of center-left Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Germany’s main centre-right opposition bloc opposes the overhaul on the grounds that it will reduce pressure and incentives for people to take available jobs. Scholz’s three-party coalition does not control a majority in the upper house of parliament, which represents the governments of Germany’s 16 states, and regions ruled by an opposition bloc have blocked the reform.

The move would send the legislation to a committee whose job it is to resolve disputes between the lower and upper houses of parliament. It is not clear what the compromise might be.

The proposed reform would replace a system developed nearly two decades ago by the center-left government of then-Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, which tightened the rules on benefits for the long-term unemployed.

The so-called “Hartz IV” system was part of a package of reforms that helped strengthen Europe’s largest economy. This has long been hated by the left and contributed to the long-standing weakness of the Social Democrats, the party of Schröder and Scholz.

The government’s proposal would increase the benefit from 449 euros ($465) a month to 502 euros. It also calls for reduced fines for recipients who refuse to get a job, especially in the first six months, and loosening restrictions on the property they can own and the size of their apartment. He wanted the overhaul to take effect on January 1.

The union bloc says they agree with increasing the amount of aid, but against another.

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