After the deficit of around 30 billion euros forecast for 2020, the Federal Employment Agency does not expect a balanced budget in the next year either. “With the contribution rate that we have now, the expected unemployment rate and the high expenditure on short-time allowance, the premium income will not be enough to cover the budget,” said the chief executive of the Federal Employment Agency, Detlef Scheele, the dpa news agency .

The current reserve of almost EUR 26 billion is already needed to partially cover the 2020 budget. “Then you will need a federal grant or a loan for the gap,” said Scheele. “We would like a grant.” The deficit had also increased due to political decisions, such as the increase in short-time work benefits or the taking over of social security contributions. “You can legitimately say that this has to be offset by tax money.”

Labor market policy should “not be fluffed”

In any case, the budget would have to be approved by the federal government if the federal government stepped in. “That would not be in the interests of the BA and its board of directors,” said Scheele. Self-administration made up of representatives of employees and employers could not wish someone else to decide on their budget: “In my opinion, this is a special situation for the constituent element of self-government.”

Scheele does not currently see an increase in the contribution rate in unemployment insurance as meaningful. However, labor market policy instruments such as integration grants or qualifications are also unlikely to be sacrificed. He spoke of an “overall rationality” both among employers and employees as well as with the federal government.

Many benefits from the Federal Agency would be paid anyway on the basis of a legal entitlement, such as unemployment benefits or short-time benefits. “People are becoming unemployed now – it would be crazy to refuse to support them,” said Scheele. “There is a common view that active labor market policies are not being fiddled with.”

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