Global Insights – MyView: No abuse of child benefits!

Trouble is currently generating once again the payment of German child allowance abroad. 343 million euros were spent on foreign children living abroad in 2017, significantly less than in the previous year (414 million euros). It is true that payments have increased almost tenfold compared to 2010. While there were nearly 62,000 children supported in 2010, by the end of 2017 there were already about 216,000 living abroad, including 103,000 in Poland and 17,000 each in Croatia and Romania. The level and rise of these figures are closely linked to the strong expansion of employment in Germany during this period: European workers are granted freedom of movement, pay taxes and are entitled to child benefits under European law, even for children living in their home country. This is not only legal, but secures German prosperity, is politically desired and economically appropriate. The integration of labor markets is a declared goal of European policy, as it improves economic conditions and also secures jobs for German workers. Child benefit payments help to secure the necessary labor mobility in Europe. If foreign workers only come to Germany temporarily, their children often stay in their home country, as they can be there better integrated into society, kindergarten and school. If they came to Germany, they would not only have to be integrated here, but temporary immigration could quickly become permanent. (KFZ)

Klaus F. Zimmermann, Professor of Economics and President of the Global Labor Organization (GLO), expresses his own opinion here. He was interviewed on this issue on March 21/22, 2018 in the “RTL Nachtmagazin“, a prominent German TV Newsmagazin.



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