Nahles: "Communication must be closer to the people"

Berlin (dpa) – The new head of the Federal Employment Agency, Andrea Nahles , wants to bring about a cultural change in the job centers, for example in order to better address those receiving citizen benefits.

“Our decisions are written in cool legal language that is difficult to understand and makes people frown. If we do this citizen income reform, I want us to change our tone towards people,” Nahles told the editorial network Germany . “Our communication must be closer to the people.”

New citizen money comes in January

The new citizens’ allowance is to be introduced on January 1, 2023 and replace Hartz IV in its current form. Millions of needy people in Germany are to receive more money and better care. The step is a central social reform of the traffic light coalition. Among other things, people who do not cooperate with the job center should also have fewer sanctions to fear.

Nahles emphasized to the RND that beneficiaries remained obliged to cooperate. However, sanctions are rare. “Sanctions are only imposed in about three percent of cases. Sometimes caricatures are drawn of the work of the job center,” complained the former SPD leader. “Some act as if the job centers would bully people indiscriminately. Others act as if there would be no more obligations in the future. Both are wrong.”

Nahles also resolutely opposed “the image of the work refuser”. “Many people in society are worried about not being able to pay their bills. We should take this seriously without it being carried out on the backs of the benefit recipients,” she warned. The core of the new citizens’ allowance is a strengthening of “training, further education and training” – “instead of placing people by hook or by crook in any job.”

© dpa-infocom, dpa:220924-99-878506/2

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