A photo of a building of the Federal Agency for Employment, where designated individuals may receive welfare benefits.
A photo of a building of the Federal Agency for Employment, where designated individuals may receive welfare benefits.

Alexander Dobrindt, of the Christian Social Union (CSU), has said that benefits for rejected asylum seekers should be cut. What is his justification for this and how are other Bundestag members viewing the proposal?

The head of the Christian Social Union (CSU) state group in parliament, Alexander Dobrindt, has called for a reduction in benefits for rejected asylum seekers.

"We should increase the benefits in kind that are provided to rejected asylum seekers," he told German newspaper, Welt am Sonntag. "We must amend the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act and make a clear distinction between those who are entitled to protection in Germany and those who do not have the right to stay or even prevent their departure themselves."

The coalition agreement between the Christian Democrats, the Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) and the Social Democrats (SPD) only provides for restrictions for those who are obliged to leave the country, but try to prevent their departure - and expressly not for those who do not leave through no fault of their own.

Dobrindt received support from the CDU, whose internal affairs spokesperson, Stephan Harbarth, told the newspaper, Die Welt: "Through a consistent move to providing benefits in kind, the incentive behind the number of applications in Germany would be significantly reduced." As well, he said, "We should also significantly extend the period of 15 months up to which asylum seekers and rejected asylum seekers receive reduced benefits under the Asylum Seeker Benefits Act."

So far, however, a proposal to this effect has failed, due to opposition from the SPD, and could therefore not be implemented in the coalition negotiations.

Christian Lindner, the head of the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), called the suggestions "completely unbelievable"  and said that it would be preferable for the German government to focus on carrying out deportations of rejected asylum seekers. Dietmar Bartsch, a member of the Left Party in the Bundestag said, "The dignity of human beings is inviolable. This is what is written in the German Constitution, and this also applies in Bavaria."

 

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