Content contribution

Johannes Vogel MdB, Secretary General of the FDP NRW and
Member of the FDP Federal Executive Committee. Spokesman for Pensions & Labor Market

Berlin, February 3, 2021.

Dear readers,

Foreseeable failures catch up with you in a crisis. Even in the coronavirus crisis - with relentless force. For years, the CDU/CSU and SPD government has failed to lead Germany into the digital age; faxing health authorities is just one example. While the federal government is calling on companies to send their employees to work from home, the same companies are waiting for modern labor law, simple rules for mobile working and a working time law that fits the 21st century. Those who can afford a legal department may still have an idea of when the absurd laptop ban in the Workplace Ordinance applies. Normal SMEs are left alone in the legal gray area.

What we really need is an Agenda 2030! It is no coincidence that the last major political modernization push for Germany was brought about by a major social reform. This is where the regulatory battles of the social market economy are fought, this is where the key players are to be found. And this is where there is the most confusion: the SPD is looking to distance itself from Agenda 2010, the Greens are looking to get closer to the unconditional basic income and the CDU/CSU is looking for the next candidate for chancellor. But after the immediate reaction to the coronavirus crisis, the central questions will inevitably come to us.

In the good economic years, attention was paid to sound finances in the budget, which is what made us capable of acting in the crisis in the first place. We must finally apply this lesson to all social security systems. Because from 2025, the baby boomers will be retiring and demographic change will become a reality. So there is still one legislative period left for a genuine reform that combines a decent life in retirement and a targeted fight against poverty in old age with stable contribution rates and demographic sustainability. After all, the 40% target for social security contributions is the right one - but it cannot be secured with more and more tax money, but only with structural reforms. Our ideas for this are on the table. Let's shape a modern Germany together!