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Global Economy

Where is the maintenance bonus?

The longer the wait for the care bonus, the greater the impatience. The federal government feels it. Also Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

In the government survey on January 12, Left MP Pascal Meiser wants to know exactly who is getting the care bonus. The Left Party welcomes the fact that the government wants to do something for nurses. However, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach suggested that only those who had taken care of corona patients should benefit.

Scholz replied in the Bundestag in his typical way:

It's complicated

Then, however, first of all, nothing happened. Left-wing politician Meiser followed up on February 11 with an open letter to the Chancellery. At the end of last week, Minister of Health Lauterbach announced a draft for the first half of the week. Without details, not even on the amount of the individual payments.

SPD health expert Heike Baehrens explains how complicated the matter is: One billion euros is available, which one wants to distribute to different target groups. And she lists: "Above all, of course, for all employees in the area of intensive care, but also for the area of inpatient and outpatient long-term care, and to be honest, we as the SPD also want it to benefit the employees in the facilities for the disabled."

Who benefits?

However, there are also signs that indicate that only a small group of nursing staff should benefit: The fourth Corona Tax Assistance Act stipulates that the nursing bonus should remain tax-free. Only employees in the hospitals are named there. Left-wing politician Meiser criticizes that, after all, all nursing staff, including those in homes and in outpatient nursing services, have done incredible things.

He warned against differentiating, because that would not do justice to the work of the employees and would bring discord to the hospitals. "I very much hope that the federal government will not go down this fatal path."

The problem: the larger the group of recipients, the smaller the respective sum. In order for it to be enough for a noticeable relief for all employees in care, the service union ver.di demanded that the federal government significantly increase the total amount of one billion euros.

Care bonus is not enough

In the meantime, it is dawning on politicians that it is very difficult to make yourself really popular with the care bonus. Someone will always get nothing and complain. And if everyone is considered, it is only enough for a small bonus, which also causes upsets.

According to SPD health expert Baehrens, a care bonus alone is not enough anyway. The actual task of care is to ensure better working conditions and good pay. She really wants decent wages to be paid in all areas of care so that enough people can be recruited for these important professions in the future.

In the federal government's survey on January 12, the Chancellor also promised that the nursing staff, who work with all their heart, must be treated with respect and good working conditions must be organized for them accordingly: "So it will be better for the nursing staff," announced Scholz on.

But the longer nurses have to wait for these fundamental improvements, the greater their impatience.

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