The government of lower franconia confirmed yesterday that in the future asylum seekers in the district will receive cash benefits instead of benefits in kind. In other words, instead of food parcels, people will now receive about twice as much money. Up to now, 137 euros a month have been paid out as the socio-cultural subsistence minimum for a head of household; from february, this figure will be 275 euros.
Problems with implementation
Minister-president horst seehofer had announced this step on 12. November in his government statement, responding to calls from asylum seekers and human rights organizations. Government president paul beinhofer has now decided "to switch to cash benefits as soon as possible", the word came down from wurzburg yesterday. Immediately after the expiry of the supply contracts, this will begin in february. According to the district office, this practice already exists in the new community housing in the oerlenbach suburb of ebenhausen.
Even though this fulfills a long-standing demand, there are also critics, reported johannes hardenacke, press spokesman for the government of lower franconia: "if there are no local purchasing possibilities, we will look for solutions with all those involved." The asylum social work agencies have already been informed and are to prepare the benefit recipients for the fact that they will have to buy their own food in the future. In addition, shelter, clothing and household goods continue to be provided in kind.
This new regulation has a direct impact on the social welfare budget, which the district committee approved this week: because of the higher cash benefit, but above all because of the increase in the number of asylum seekers, the budget for asylum seeker benefits has increased from 352.000 euros this year to 797.000 euro for the coming year more than doubled. But: it doesn't cost the district any money, because every single euro is reimbursed by the government of lower franconia. The target for the current year will also be exceeded: at the beginning of november, the district had already received 474.000 euro paid out.
The fact that the biggest changes in the entire social aid budget are in the area of asylum is primarily due to the increased number of asylum seekers: in 2008, just 277 people in need of aid came to lower franconia from abroad; last year, there were already more than three times as many (922), and this year, according to hardenacke, the current figure is 1470 new asylum seekers (see chart).
In the district of bad kissingen, new community accommodations have therefore been built, and the district has been able to take in up to 330 asylum seekers: 100 in munnerstadt, 80 in hammelburg, 50 in the oerlenbach district of ebenhausen, and a further 100 in the volkers district of bad bruckenau. In response to a question from the mayor of bad bruckenau and CSU county councilor brigitte meyerdierks, county councilor thomas bold (CSU) emphasized that no more shared accommodation is planned in the county: "we are now well above the target."
In addition to paying out cash benefits, the district is also responsible for clothing, school subsidies and initial baby equipment. On the other hand, the government of lower franconia pays directly for accommodation in shared housing, meals as well as personnel costs for janitors and social services on site.
Decreasing net burden
For this reason, the budgets of the government of lower franconia have also grown significantly: in 2013, for example, 5.9 million euros were passed on to the local sponsors; this year, the figure was ten million euros in the first three quarters of the year. A further four million euros could be added in the current quarter.
Despite the increases in the area of asylum seekers, the social expenditures of the district as a whole are declining: in the current budget, around eleven million euros were booked for basic security, hartz IV and more; in 2014, the figure is expected to be 10.7 million euros. Income is even more encouraging: peter nietsch, head of the social welfare office, is hoping for 6.0 million euros in revenue in 2014, up from 4.8 million euros in the current year. "This means an overall improvement of 1.2 million euros.", said nietsch and attributed the positive trend primarily to the good development on the labor market: "we currently have 2140 people in need of help who are able to work." No wonder that the district committee unanimously approved the draft: "it is very pleasing that we have a significantly lower net burden here", district administrator bold summarized the mood of the district council.
Asylum the state of bavaria spent 173.7 million euros on benefits for asylum seekers last year. Of this, 12.2 million euros went to lower franconia: 6.3 million euros to supra-local, 5.9 million euros to local sponsors. At the end of 2012, 15.939 so-called recipients of regular benefits under the asylum seekers benefits act in bavaria (10.332 men and 5607 women), of which 1853 in lower franconia (1191 men and 662 women). The average age of all bavarian asylum seekers was 26, according to the state office of statistics, 9642 came from asia, 3206 from europe, 2750 from africa, 72 from america, and 269 were stateless or of unknown origin.
Budget the budgets for social assistance, basic security, war victims' benefits, education and participation, and for social code book II (SGB II, also known as hartz IV) totaled 10.7 million euros in 2014. The largest single item is the hartz IV benefits: the county has to pay 5.8 million euros here, but only receives 1.8 million euros back. The situation is different for basic security for seniors and the handicapped: here, the federal government reimburses the entire 3.0 million euro. 179 people are eligible for the education package.000, the women's shelter is supported with 70.000 euros. The assistance for care remains at 212.000 euro.
Outpatient care the county council also decided to once again support outpatient care services with 120.000 euro to support. According to county administrator bold, this assistance is no longer common in all counties. The district of bad kissingen supports the nursing services with about 1300 euros per full-time position.