Even if the virus has not yet been defeated, the question now arises: How can we successfully exit the crisis measures? It cannot go on like this in the long run.
AWhen the Corona crisis broke out in the spring, political drive was opportune in every respect. That was true of infection protection, and it was especially true of helping companies and jobs to stabilize. With generous liquidity support and a courageous easing of access to short-time work benefits, the government not only had good factual arguments on its side. The resolutions were popular across party lines.
Now the politically more uncomfortable phase begins: How and when does an exit from the policy of emergency aid and crisis programs succeed – even if the virus has not yet been defeated?
As little as a return to the blanket shutdown of economic activity seems conceivable, social and economic policy cannot remain permanently in crisis mode. At least because of the consequences for the tax and contribution burden of citizens and businesses, this will not be popular in the long term. There has to be something other than a policy on credit.
The question of an exit plan for short-time work, which threatens to become a political drug, is now acute: Your special rules are currently limited to the end of the year, and the employment agency’s contribution fund, which is primarily responsible for short-time allowance, has been emptied. But the coalition feels compelled to extend the special rules – if possible so that the party-political risks of the approaching election campaign can be survived. With all the fiscal consequences.
Now revenge for the parties that they have allowed or promoted a discrediting of the Hartz IV basic security for years. It has always been available as a reliable aid tool – even for employees whose income has been reduced by an unintentional reduction in working hours. In the matter of fact, it would be well justified to refer the employees of ailing companies more strongly to the basic security – to a certain extent the short-time work allowance II – and to reduce the short-time work allowance to the normal level. But when it came to securing Hartz IV, the coalition parties lacked the energy.