The gap between rich and poor among German municipalities is growing. But Bavaria's Minister of Finance Albert Füracker (CSU) is now defending itself against the idea of compensation payments: "Bayern will not pay the bill for the failures of other countries," said Füracker.
Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) had on Tuesday, a debt relief program for about 2500 particularly heavily indebted communities in Germany in prospect. This involves the dismantling of high municipal cash credits, in fact the Dispo loans of the municipalities and districts, in which the federal and state governments should participate.
Klamme municipalities exist in all federal states, said Scholz. Especially many are in North Rhine-Westphalia, Saarland, Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate.
Fücker said that Bavaria itself does not use cash credits – and therefore do not want to reduce this in other countries with. "Active federalism needs a strong federal government and strong countries, but it does not work if the federal government daily presents new and politically biased proposals in the area of competence of the federal states, which in the end should also co-finance them," said Füracker.
The repayment of municipal cash loans in only a few states was the wrong focus. "Cash advances are in no way the basis for a fair distribution scale."
Read here: So in debt is your region
Cash advances hardly play a role in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. The credit burden per citizen in Bavaria is 15 euros, in Baden-Württemberg even only 10 euros. In contrast, it is in the Rhineland-Palatinate Pirmasens at almost 8000 € per inhabitant.
According to one study, the gap between poor and rich cities in Germany has widened in the last two years – despite the good state of the economy. The "Kommunale Finanzreport 2019" of the Bertelsmann Stiftung has identified several causes for this.
Accordingly, poor municipalities suffer from high indebtedness, high costs for Hartz IV recipients, significantly lower tax revenues than wealthy municipalities, negative location effects and low financial strength despite financial equalization. By contrast, the already strong municipalities are profiting strongly from the economic situation.