Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Billion-Euro Budget Item

I noticed in regional news (Hessen) yesterday.....that the finance ministry of Hessen has come out with the 2016 budget proposal.  Somewhere in the midst of this draft plan.....they've admitted that the budget for the immigration, asylum and refugee situation in Hessen....will be roughly one-billion Euro.  A fairly big chunk of money.

"Politicians are not clairvoyant" was probably the best quote of the entire the Finance Minister did a radio interview and discussed the matter with a HR interviewer.  Thomas Schafer is the CDU official serving as the Finance Minister for Hessen.  The interview covered the fact that the pre-planning was originally aiming for roughly 630-million Euro, which was a larger chunk than spent in 2015.  Sadly, the interview journalist didn't ask for numbers of 2014 or years would have been an interesting comparison and tell more of the complicated story.

What Schafer generally said at some point was that the federal government (the Berlin folks) will have to be involved and cough up payment of the one-billion Euro.  Based on some comments from several months ago....from at least three different newspapers.....the Berlin folks were talking of three-billion as a minimum threshold for 2016's payment to the sixteen states to cover immigration, asylum and refugees.

I haven't seen any major news sources in Germany discuss each of the sixteen states and the current work on the 2016 budget plan.  My humble guess is that if you added up the budget for this situation from the sixteen'll go higher than ten billion, which will be an awful BIG chunk of money.  North Rhine Westphalia alone (with the highest number of immigrants) ought to be double what Hessen is requesting.  Same for Bavaria.

Where does Berlin come up with the money?  That's a curious thing.  You can't invent new taxes out of thin air and Germans have a skeptical view of the term "tax-reform".  The minute you suggest that you want to do some reform action....there's some harsh reactions.  So, I'm guessing that road construction and building renovation funds.....will be cut, and the money will be shifted over to this account.  A big deal?  If this were a single year one would say much.  But how would this be a single year problem?  If you ponder upon this long'd come to grasp that it's a three-to-five year situation and will be around for people to discuss in the 2017 election period.

1 comment:

RodFleck said...

Fascinating situation and not sure that the money will be the only challenges that lie ahead, but have to give Germany a huge round of applause for stepping up to at least try to address the needs of the refugees fleeing the nightmare of ISIS/ISIL and various civil wars. When I saw the intro on this topic and the reference to Hessen, one of the three states where my ancestors came from, I have to say I was pretty impressed with the Finance Minister. Now if only the rest of the world could be so generous.