Soder’s 61-billion package and a small victory for the opposition

Soder's 61-billion package and a small victory for the opposition

Three months after prime minister markus soder’s government declaration, the CSU has decided on numerous political priorities in the state parliament and secured the financing. The opposition’s massive criticism of the 61-billion-euro supplementary budget and the various amendments – including the creation of a border police force, a state office for asylum, the reestablishment of a supreme state court and the passage of the mental health assistance law – was inconsequential on wednesday, however, because of the CSU’s absolute majority of the votes.

There was only one point on which the SPD, the greens and the free voters were allowed to throw a spanner in the works: the votes needed to change the constitution for the planned limitation of the term of office for bavarian minister presidents were not to be obtained, according to the opposition’s previous announcements. A two-thirds majority in the state parliament is needed to change the constitution. But the opposition refused to support it, seeing the mabnahme as nothing more than an electoral manover.

Expensive election gifts?

At least financially, the state parliament paved the way for the implementation of soder’s other announcements from his first government declaration in april. The increase in the budget to 61 billion euros is already the second time the budget has been revised. He now also secures the political priorities announced by soder, such as the introduction of a state care allowance and a bavarian family allowance. Both payments are to be made from september onwards – i.E. Before the state elections on 14 october. October – to be paid to applicants.

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finance minister albert furacker (CSU) defended the increase in the budget by around one billion euros: "it is an ambitious government program that we can only undertake because we have not listened to them (the opposition) in recent years." He accused the SPD, the greens and the free democratic party of "destroying the wonderful country" badmouthing bavaria. "They reject significant improvements with this budget out of their inner rage." But this pure electoral polemic does not convince people. In recent years, bavaria has achieved a level of education and internal security "that is the envy of the whole world.

Soder "gimmickry" is the name of the game?

Furacker reacted to massive criticism that the supplementary budget was a "hodgepodge of arbitrariness, a manifestation of political misconceptions and gimmickry", said harald guller (SPD). The government is wasting a billion euros from the 6.5 billion euro reserve without a long-term concept and without a forward-looking approach. "A rain of campaign money is simply poured out with a can of water."

Free voters and the greens also came down hard on the government’s financial plans: "we are looking at the most expensive prime minister of all time, said thomas mutze (grune). The budget is only a marketing campaign or a campaign for the state elections. Normally, second supplementary budgets were only created when unforeseeable catastrophes occurred. But this is not the case in bavaria. Only the CSU is in trouble and is trying everything to prevent the loss of the absolute majority in the election.

Doubtful victory for the opposition

The CSU faction defended the state government’s financial policy and repeatedly referred to bavaria’s good cash position and the repayment of state debt. The current budget plan provides for loan repayments of 1.5 billion euros. In contrast, bernhard pohl (freie wahler) accused soder of setting the wrong priorities. Instead of creating new jobs and duplicate structures, such as the border police, the money needs to get back to the burgers.

With a view to the state elections, soder and the CSU have to say goodbye to their first announcement, at least for the time being, due to time constraints: a change in the constitution to limit the term of office via a referendum is theoretically still possible, but would cost a lot of time due to the necessary referendum plus collection of signatures. As long as only his own words and no constitutional obligation remain binding for soder, he wants to vacate the state chancellery in 2028 at the latest.

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