Germany’s Labour Minister has rejected accusations of being “socially insensitive” after unemployed benefits were increased by five euros.
Ursula von der Leyen has been at pains to defend the new calculation for the so-called Hartz IV system, describing it as “sufficient to meet basic needs.”
But Ulrich Scheider, of Germany’s social charities associations believes it is a total failure.
“This benefit was originally designed to get people out of poverty but it didn’t succeed. Now we have twice as many poor than before the allowance was introduced,” he said.
The government says welfare benefit must remain low to make it worthwhile getting a job.
Polls suggest many Germans agree. Fresh data show many people believe payouts are already far too generous and a heavy burden on the welfare state.