By mid-2023, job seekers should not fear any reduction in their Hartz IV benefits if they violate certain obligations – the traffic light government wants to decide that. Criticism comes from the opposition.

The Union has sharply criticized the suspension of the Hartz IV sanctions planned by the traffic light coalition.

“The traffic light gives up the principle of funding and demanding without need, against the firm advice from many employment agencies,” said the deputy chairman of the Union faction, Hermann Gröhe (CDU), the dpa in Berlin. “It sends a completely wrong signal.” The Union firmly rejects the project.

According to the plans of the coalition, a law is to be passed in the Bundestag this Thursday, with which the sanctions for breaches of duty are expected to be suspended until mid-2023. For example, job seekers should not have to fear a reduction in their Hartz IV benefits if they do not accept reasonable work.

In a statement, the Federal Employment Agency (BA) warned that the job centers still needed a handle if individual beneficiaries refused completely and did not accept reasonable job offers. Anyone who does not report to an appointment at the job center should also only have to fear sanctions in the event of a repeat offense – up to a maximum of ten percent of the standard requirement.

Gröhe said: “To capitulate in front of a small group of stubborn refusers is completely wrong.” The traffic light coalition is now even going beyond its own draft law passed by the cabinet. “It’s a slap in the face to those who naturally fulfill their obligations to cooperate as beneficiaries.” Originally, the sanctions were only to be suspended until the end of the year.

The socio-political spokesman for the FDP parliamentary group, Pascal Kober, rejected the criticism. “Even during the one-year moratorium, multiple missed appointments lead to cuts in benefits,” he told the “Augsburger Allgemeine” (Wednesday). “There will be no freedom from sanctions and an unconditional basic income through the back door,” he said. “Because the principle of “support and challenge” has so far contributed to reducing long-term unemployment and to the sustainable integration of people into the labor market.”