Dortmund, NRW. Local recipients on the "dole", meaning so-called Hartz-IV benefits (due to long-term unemployment > 12 months or welfare), might get 200 euros ($260) extra if they started doing any job. On official leaflets, the Dortmund 'Jobcenter' even offers 280.50 euros "start-up money" for up to three months who starts working as unskilled employee. Even no problem with a broken car; the 'Jobcenter' is willing to pay up to 2.000 euros for repairs in connection with starting working by 'voluntarily' leaving the welfare system. Nevertheless, federal law requires that anyone on the dole makes serious personal efforts to wean himself or herself off the welfare benefits' tap, else face sanctions.
The on-line edition of Germany's biggest tabloid "Bild" has made this scandalous waste of taxpayers' money public today. The regional jobcenter chief-executive, Mr. Gerhard Geise, has defended this "leaflet PR" as informative means to benefits' recipients about all the administrative possibilities for supporting the weaning off.
The Federal Agency for Labor in Nuremberg, responsible for all local labor agencies or jobcenters, wasn't aware of this Dortmund region 'action enterprise'.
A speaker for the Federal Agency, Mr. John-Philip Hammersen, replied to Bild that "the Dortmund 'Jobcenter' actions have reached the absolute limits for a lawful authorization of exceptional money grants".
Because almost any other local job admin decides "on a case to case basis" - "this 'lump sum and zero check approach' is by no means a way to carefully handle taxpayers' money", said Free-Democratic labor policy expert, Ms. Claudia Winterstein, according to Bild.
In Germany, up to seven million people (dependent family members included) are being cared for by this 'Hartz IV system' which is a crucial part of a federal labor budget of almost 120 billion euros.
After this "scandal", it was said to Bild that the Federal Labor Agency will be looking into the details thoroughly.
Long-term jobless and social welfare recipients are entitled to getting nearly 400 euros each and some euros less for dependent spouses and kids, plus compensation for necessary costs of accommodation (heating included) so that a Hartz IV-family of 4 people might get 1.700 euros ($2.200).