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News by Fred Alan Medforth
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Entire German 2016 Budget Surplus Earmarked for Migrants
The German government will allocate the entire six billion euro 2016 budget surplus to migrants after the two coalition parties failed to agree on how to spend it.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party proposed using the €6.2 billion surplus to pay off debts, while the Social Democrats (SPD) wanted to spend it on digital infrastructure projects. As a compromise the money has gone solely to migrant projects instead, Der Spiegelreports.
The present funds allocated toward migrant programmes is already €12 billion, which is thought to be more than enough to handle the needs of the over one million migrants in Germany. The budget surplus would take the money up to over 18 billion – far more than required.
On Friday, the government is expected to release a supplementary budget decision that aims to put €3.5 billion into rehabilitating schools in financially disadvantaged areas. The plan was intended to be decided in January but due to clashes between the CDU and the SPD, the proposal has been repeatedly delayed.
Last year, the government also allocated the entire budget surplus to migrant issues. The 2015 surplus was far larger at €13 billion, and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble expressed concern at the time the money may lead to wasteful spending.
Over the course of the year, reports have emerged that confirmed the fears of the finance minister. A migrant home in Bad Berleburg houses only 21 migrants but was meant to house 500. The contractors, rent, and other costs of the asylum home are costing taxpayers over €500,000 per month.
The expenditure at a migrant home in Bad Laasphe is even more wasteful, costing over €600,000 per month and not housing a single migrant.
Germany expects migrants to cost the taxpayer over €90 billion by the end of 2020 and could grow even higher if migration numbers significantly increase.
As a result of the enormous cost projection and the falling popularity of her party ahead of the 2017 federal elections, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has earmarked €90 million for migrants who voluntarily leave Germany to return to their countries of origin.
The chancellor hopes the incentive will encourage a large portion of the estimated 81,000 failed asylum seekers still in Germany to leave.