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SPD puts pressure on Lindner when it comes to financing care


By 2025, the number of people in need of care in Germany could rise to 5.5 million. But the traffic light coalition is arguing about how domestic and professional care should be paid for.

Because of the increasing number of people in need of care, the SPD is demanding more money from finance minister Christian Lindner for reforms in elderly care. Especially when times are difficult, the five million people in need of care and their relatives expect support from the traffic light coalition, said SPD deputy parliamentary group leader Dagmar Schmidt.

Schmidt compared care with health care, mobility and further training – investments in these areas quickly paid off. “It is the job of the finance minister to make the necessary funds available now and finally to take responsibility for the revenue side,” said Schmidt.

The stress limit has long been exceeded, said the care agent of the federal government, the SPD politician Claudia Moll, the “Bild am Sonntag”. In many places there is a lack of suitable offers, so domestic and professional care must be strengthened and volunteer work expanded, says Moll. “Above all, we need a clear timetable. People need to know what to expect.”

The traffic light wanted to strengthen home care

In the coalition agreement, the SPD, Greens and FDP announced that they would check whether the personal contribution for those in need of care and their families could be reduced. Now the shares have increased by 278 euros over the past year – to an average of 2411 euros per month. SPD faction deputy Schmidt did not want to comment on this when asked.

The traffic light coalition had also announced that it wanted to finance the pension contributions for caring relatives from taxes in order to strengthen home care. The care allowance for this should actually be adjusted from 2022. Despite inflation, it has not been raised since 2017, criticized social organizations.

The care policy spokeswoman for the SPD parliamentary group, Heike Baehrens, considers it extremely urgent that people are relieved of the burden of home care. “It has to be started quickly and we need the necessary funds from the Federal Minister of Finance,” she told the “Bild am Sonntag”.

The relatives of those in need of care do great things every day and therefore have to be supported, said SPD parliamentary group vice-president Schmidt. What was announced in the coalition agreement must now be implemented. “This includes stable financing, also from taxes, as well as the adjustment of services to the needs of those affected,” says Schmidt.

Ministry of Finance: “Significant need for advice”

The fact that there should be more money for care has long been discussed. On January 1, 2022, the coalition introduced a permanent federal subsidy of one billion euros for long-term care insurance. The premiums are still increasing. Since the beginning of 2022, the care contribution has been 3.05 percent of gross wages, and even 3.4 percent for childless people.

The struggle over how care should be financed has long since begun. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach had announced reforms. According to the “Handelsblatt”, the Ministry of Finance explained that these would bring “further service expansions in the billions”. There is still a “considerable need for advice”. FDP nursing expert Nicole Westig called in the “Bild am Sonntag” for medical treatment care in homes to be paid from health insurance in the future in order to reduce personal contributions.

Lindner wanted to break the coalition agreement, said the head of the German Foundation for Patient Protection, Eugen Brysch. According to Brysch, Lindner rejects a federal subsidy. Everyone affected needs 300 euros more from now on, and inflation compensation is also necessary. “The federal government’s hesitation in supporting those in need of care must come to an end,” said Brysch.