Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner does not want to question the debt brake in the 2024 budget year either. "Yes, we comply with the constitution's debt rule," said the FDP leader on Wednesday during a government survey in the Bundestag. This will apply for the whole of 2024, should a new crisis not arise. So far, however, there is no evidence of this. The key figures for the 2024 budget are to be decided in the cabinet in mid-March. Lindner said he could not say much about the details. The budget deliberations were still ongoing.
The finance minister added that the European Central Bank (ECB) is expected to raise interest rates further due to high inflation. In medium-term financial planning, interest costs of around EUR 40 billion per year can be expected. That would be roughly the same as 2023, but 10 times the 2021 level.
Lindner warned of a further escalation of national debt. The billions in interest costs are "an unmistakable signal" to himself and the Bundestag as budget legislators, "that we cannot do politics in the long term based on the capital markets".
It was necessary "to bring this state's income and expenditure back into balance," emphasized Lindner. "We are required to conduct budgetary policy again from the eyes of the children, who can also expect a functioning state." It is a question of "securing children's future" that "we do not permanently overwhelm the state in its financing options".
Indirectly, Lindner also rejected demands from his coalition partners for additional spending. "We must learn that wealth must first be created before we can then distribute it with noble motives," he said.
Budget negotiations are currently underway within the government, which have already led to considerable upset. The key figures for the 2024 budget and the financial planning up to 2027 are to be decided in the cabinet in mid-March. The budget will not be passed in the Bundestag until shortly before the end of the year.