Berlin (dpa) – A slew of social issues have occupied the Federal Council: Hartz IV rates are being increased, child benefit and tax exemption are being increased.
In addition, the Chamber of States approved, for example, strengthening traditional pharmacies, higher expansion targets for offshore wind energy or a billion for day care in primary schools:
STRENGTHENING THE LOCAL PHARMACY: Prescription drugs will cost as much at mail order pharmacies in the future as they do at the local pharmacy. Mail order pharmacies are no longer allowed to give discounts. Classic pharmacies must be protected from online competition.
BILLION PACKAGE FOR COMPLETE CARE: The federal states will receive billions of sums from the federal government for the expansion of daycare in primary schools, so that by 2025 the legal claims of the grand coalition for first to fourth grade students can be realized. The federal government wants to pay two billion euros. As part of the Corona aid, the coalition had already pledged 1.5 billion euros.
INCREASE IN HARTZ IV RULESETS: A single Hartz IV receiver will receive 446 euros per month in the future – 14 euros more than before. Anyone living in an apartment with another person in need of care, such as their spouse, will from now on receive EUR 401 instead of EUR 389. The rates for children and young people are also increasing.
TAX GRANT FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AND MANY NUTRITIONAL CAREERS: In the future, people with disabilities will be able to claim twice the amount on their tax return. This means that the taxable income can be reduced without having to prove the costs individually. Even those who care for someone without getting money can claim higher lump sums in some cases.
HIGHER EXPANSION TARGETS FOR WIND POWER AT SEA: The expansion targets for offshore wind energy are raised: the previous target of 15 gigawatts in 2030 will be increased to 20 gigawatts output and in 2040 to 40 gigawatts.
CHILD BENEFIT INCREASE: The child benefit will be increased by 15 euros in the new year. For the first and second child, there will be EUR 219 per month instead of the previous EUR 204. With the third it is 225 instead of 210 euros, from the fourth 250 instead of 235 euros per month. Child benefits and allowances for the care, education or training needs of children increase together by more than EUR 500 to EUR 8388.
INCOME TAX: The tax-free basic rate – that is, the part of the income on which no tax is payable – will increase to 9,744 euros in 2021 and to 9,984 euros in 2022.
EXTENSIVE CORONA SPECIAL RULES FOR SHORT WORK PAYMENTS: In the coming year, employees who have longer than three months of reduced working hours will receive an increased working time reduction. From the fourth reference month, instead of the usual 60 percent of wages, 70 percent. Working people with children receive 77 instead of 67 percent.
LESS PAPERS FOR PARENTS WITH APPLICATION: The birth certificate, parental benefit and child benefit can now be applied for online in one go. An electronic data exchange between different authorities is made possible. Pilot projects are initially planned. According to the federal Department of Family Affairs, all parents should be able to take advantage of the new regulations from 2022.
IDS: New ID cards must include a chip with two fingerprints from August 2, 2021. Child passports are now only valid for one year, but can be extended several times for one year each time. If you prefer, you can apply for a biometric passport that is valid for six years instead. People who do not assign themselves to a gender can in future have an “X” entered in their passport instead of “M” for men or “F” for women.