(Hardships; 03-03; p.3)
The chancellor's guide-lines
On 14 March, chancellor Gerhard Schröder declared
his thoughts on necessary changes in social policy. - The term
"social policy" shall comprise for convenience the policy
fields of labour market, social security, pensions and health
Bundled as "agenda 2010", the changes are to be put
into practice; mentioning the year apparently hints at the fundamental
and structural changes.
Even if there may occur some fine-tuning, Schröder
made clear that deviations from the main heading will not be possible
with him. So, what does he head for? - At first, he obviously
recognises that the state must not finance activities by amassing
further deficits. Thus, revenue has to be raised and spending
has to be cut back.
For the biggest items in state's budget are
in the mentioned fields, cuts of some or other kind are to be
introduced there. On the other hand, Schröder emphasises that
these cuts are necessary to preserve the substance of the German
- One has to await, how mainly social-democratic politicians and
trade-unionists will favour that approach.
On the income side, Schröder wants to achieve
that taxes create real revenue on the one hand, but that companies
and entrepreneurs can make profits for investments, so to "grow".
- If legislative changes for that will be brought about, is mainly
a matter of decisions in the Bundesrat in which, in terms of parties,
the opposition in the Bundestag, Christian Democrats and Liberals
have the majority. Another question to answer is, if the then
initiated changes will have the effects wanted.
(end of article)