Rarely have you finished so early in recent years. After less than 15 hours of adjustment session, the budget committee of the Bundestag reports: The budget is in place.

The traffic light coalition wants to take on almost 140 billion euros in new debt in its first full year of government. This was the result of the final deliberations of the budget committee early Friday morning in Berlin.

The federal budget for 2022 now provides for expenditure totaling around 495.79 billion euros – slightly more than estimated by Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP).

The Bundestag wants to adopt the draft budget in the week from May 30th to June 3rd. The reason for the late decision is the federal elections with a change of government last autumn. The ministries have been working with a provisional budget since the beginning of the year.

Changes to Lindner’s design

In the almost 15-hour “cleaning up session”, the householders decided on several changes to Lindner’s design. The bottom line is that investments have now increased by 705 million euros in comparison, and total expenditure by 11.9 billion. The new borrowing of 138.94 billion euros proposed by the Minister of Finance will still be adhered to because significantly more income is planned at the same time.

“The parliamentary budget deliberations were marked by major, global crises,” explained the coalition budget holders Dennis Rohde (SPD), Sven-Christian Kindler (Greens) and Otto Fricke (FDP) afterwards. The result shows: «We create security in the crisis, internationally and in Germany. We invest in infrastructure, protect the climate, support small and medium-sized businesses, promote research, innovation and social cohesion. We are also strengthening security, foreign and development policy.”

The biggest adjustment is the reaction to the Ukraine war

However, Lindner had already made the biggest adjustment himself: he reacted to the Russian war in Ukraine with a supplementary budget of almost 40 billion euros and, in addition to taking in refugees, also financed aid for companies and citizens. Above all, tax cuts are intended to cushion the explosive rise in energy prices and the high inflation rate.

The housekeepers also added to that in some places and cut back on others. Among other things, they cut the funds for the office and employees of former SPD Chancellor Gerhard Schröder on the grounds that he would no longer perform any tasks in connection with his former office. Schröder is highly controversial because of his ongoing contacts with Russia and President Vladimir Putin despite the war in Ukraine.

Relief for many households

Large sums flow into relief for many households, for example through a heating cost subsidy and an immediate surcharge for families with children. For all taxpayers, the basic allowance on which no income tax is paid increases. In addition, energy taxes on fuel will be reduced for three months. All employees subject to income tax receive an energy price flat rate of 300 euros. New aid packages were also put together for the economy and depreciation rules changed.

Additional debt could become necessary if the Bundestag decides on the planned cash injection for the Bundeswehr. The money should, however, be taken away from the core budget in a special fund and not be counted towards the debt brake. This upper credit limit will be suspended again for the current year due to the crises, and Lindner wants to comply with it again next year.