Volunteer work will be better promoted

The Federal Council has cleared the way for strengthening voluntary activities. On Friday, the state chamber approved a bill passed by the Bundestag to promote civic engagement in Germany with tax relief amounting to almost half a billion euros. For some politicians, however, this does not go far enough. – In addition, the discussion about a statutory minimum wage went into the next round.

Tax-free allowance in the amount of 500 Eu per year After that, the so-called exercise leader allowance will increase from 1848 euros to 2100 euros per year. In addition, a general tax allowance of 500 euros per year will be introduced for all persons who take on voluntary responsibility in associations. The expense allowance granted to them for this purpose should be tax-free up to an amount of 500 euros, without the need to present individual proof of this.The maximum limits for the tax deduction of donations of previously five and ten percent of total income will be raised to a uniform 20 percent. In addition, the maximum amount for endowment of foundations with capital should be increased from 307 000 euros to one million euros.The taxation limit for economic activities of non-profit corporations and the so-called special-purpose business limit for sporting events will also be raised from 30,878 euros to 35,000 euros in income per year. Debate about honorary office During the debate, Saarland's Minister President Peter Muller (CDU) called for improvements for volunteer caregivers. He pointed out that the number of people in need of care in Germany was rising. It is in the public interest that this additional care effort be carried out primarily by volunteer caregivers. The honorary active ones here may not be put worse than those, which exercise an honorary office in the sport or culture range.The Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Finance, Barbara Hendricks (SPD), said that it should be examined whether the new tax allowance of 500 euros could also be applied to voluntary caregivers. At the same time, it opposed the inclusion of people who take over the legal care of their parents in a tax allowance. Otherwise, they would first have to take 500 euros from the parents in order to be able to make them tax-free afterwards. One should therefore "consider the voluntary legal guardians outside the family circle, but not those within the family circle".

Beck campaigns in the Bundesrat for a statutory minimum wage Meanwhile, the SPD continues to press for a statutory minimum wage. The Bundesrat also discussed a corresponding legislative initiative by the SPD-led government of Rhineland-Palatinate. The state chamber also had before it motions for resolutions by the red-red Berlin Senate and the red-green state government of Bremen to introduce a statutory minimum wage of at least 7.50 euros per hour. The bills are now to be discussed further in the relevant Bundesrat committees.SPD chairman and Rhineland-Palatinate premier Kurt Beck said the question was whether the principle should be upheld that those who do good work full time should also be able to live on it. In Germany, he said, there are about 2.5 million full-time employees who receive less than half the average income. Although a considerable number of them have a professional qualification, they receive wages "on which one cannot live". Beck pointed out that this affects an above-average number of people in eastern Germany.

Muller warns that jobs are at risk Berlin's mayor, Klaus Wowereit (SPD), said it was humiliating for them to work all day and still have to apply for supplementary assistance in order to exist. This would be "socially explosive". The state could stay out of it if the collective bargaining parties could regulate this ie on their own, which was also the case in many industries. In several sectors, however, such a regulation has not been brought about.Saarland's Minister President Peter Muller (CDU), on the other hand, warned against the destruction of jobs through uniform statutory minimum wages. In the case of non-local work, the income of those affected would be jeopardized "if you demand wages that cannot be represented via productivity," Muller argued. For this reason, all ideas of uniform statutory minimum wages do not lead to more income to secure subsistence, but are counterproductive.

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