Green Party Congress: Basic Income for All - The Canadian
Tuesday, December 1

Green Party Congress: Basic Income for All


Dhe federal executive didn’t want it that way, but in the end the grassroots prevailed: The Greens included the reference to an unconditional basic income in their new basic program. The party leadership had avoided this word in their proposal, only spoke of a “guarantee protection”, which should replace Hartz IV. This should be paid to people whose own financial resources are insufficient, so the party congress decided on Sunday.

Julia Löhr

However, the delegates also voted in favor of merging all social benefits in the long term. There is no longer any question of a needs test. Instead, it now says in the text: “Covert poverty will be overcome. We are guided by the guiding principle of an unconditional basic income. “

Are there majorities for this?

The former chairman of the Verdi union, Frank Bsirske, himself a member of the Greens, had previously warned that such a basic income could not only be financed by higher taxes on assets and inheritances, as the Greens also demand in their basic program. A higher wage tax, possibly also a higher value added tax, is necessary. “Would there be social majorities for this? No, ”said Bsirske.

On the other hand, an application by the party base to delete the word market economy from the basic program was rejected, even if only with a narrow majority. In view of the long debates on such questions at the party congress, the economy should nevertheless feel that its concerns have been confirmed. The program is largely “vague to meaningless”, criticized Albrecht von der Hagen, managing director of the Association of Family Entrepreneurs. The Greens wanted to keep all options open. “The consequence for the voter: prescribed red-green-black poor eyesight.” The few specific places, on the other hand, are tough. “What the Greens imagine in Europe will be expensive,” warns von der Hagen with a view to the demand for an EU-wide minimum wage or a European basic security. “We would then also have reached the social transfer union.”

The economic policy spokeswoman for the Greens, Katharina Dröge, sees fewer contradictions between the positions of the Greens and those of the economy. “For most of the Greens, the problem is not the market, but the short-term return orientation in the market economy,” she says. “There is a desire for politicians to intervene more.” She sees the family businesses as allies. “Many family businesses also think in terms of generations.”

The question of which top candidate the Greens are campaigning with was not an issue at the party congress, as was the question of which ministries the party wants to fill in the event of participation in the government. The speeches of the party chairmen contained some hints in this regard. Annalena Baerbock spoke out in favor of a more far-reaching industrial policy that should make the steel industry climate-neutral – “not because the state can do better business, but because the economy needs clear conditions,” as she said. Robert Habeck wants to finance higher public sector investments through higher taxes on interest and capital gains and make digital companies such as Amazon and Facebook more accountable.


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