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Polke-Majewski, Karsten

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Die Zeit - Germany | 06/11/2012

German coalition behind the times

The German ruling coalition on Sunday agreed on the introduction of a care allowance for parents, the scrapping of the practice fee charged at medical practices and a new pension supplement for low-income earners. In its online edition the liberal weekly Die Zeit expresses surprise at what it calls the backward-looking policies of the coalition: "So this is what happens when the leaders of our ruling coalition sit down and talk for seven hours: more motorways, a stay-at-home bonus and a mini emergency pension. … Although experts are warning about a rise in poverty in old age all the coalition parties can come up with is a minimal improvement for low earners. … While in the Bundestag CDU women are struggling for the introduction of a women's quota, in the chancellery a housewives' subsidy has been given the green light. … Given the many funding shortfalls this must seem like an insult to the education workers at schools and universities. And the coalition's answer to the big climate and energy issue of our time is: More money for motorways."

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