Germany’s parliament on Friday approved its 2023 budget in Berlin, taking on new debt amounting to 45 billion euros ($47 billion) to finance state aid in times of crisis.
“We will overcome the crisis, but we will not neglect the challenges of the future for this country,” Finance Minister Christian Lindner of the pro-business FDP told the Bundestag.
The total budget amounts to €476.29 billion, with factors such as the war in Ukraine and high energy and food prices impacting spending.
The constitutional rule of the so-called “debt brake” that limited new loans has been deactivated to address the crises caused by the pandemic and energy bottlenecks.
However, the rule allows for new lending in anticipation of a recession.
Lindner highlighted record investment, while the Conservative opposition voiced criticism that defense spending will not grow towards the 2% of gross domestic product promised by Social Democrats (SPD) Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
The smaller opposition parties, Die Linke on the far left and Alternative for Germany (AfD) on the far right, have criticized the budget for setting the wrong priorities.
Among the major expenditures are housing reforms, subsidies for low-income families to offset heating costs and tax breaks.
Family allowances will increase and a new basic income at a higher level will replace the benefits paid to the long-term unemployed.