The Federal Agency for Labor ("BA") in Nuremberg, Bavaria, is a staunch supporter of a Brandenburg "50plus perspective project" in which the district job-center "Brandenburg/Havel" has outfitted 18 older long-term jobless people, who have been receiving Hartz IV-welfare benefits, with step counters. The labor agency not only wants them to move more in fresh air but also to wean them off being couch potatoes. Those guys with the highest mileage within the 40 day experiment will get a little reward.
The project was heavily criticized by the jobless-interests' portal "gegen-hartz.de". This notion was equally rejected by BA-board of management member, Heinrich Alt. "As soon as pedometers are carried in courses for managers, it's a neat idea, when jobless people shall do this it's automatically non-sense. Who is feeling fine and fit, does have more self-confidence - and verifiably gets a job more quickly. There's nothing to demonize with this", according to a statement he made to "Der Spiegel" magazine.
Another jobcenter "Nienburg" mandates anti-smoking courses within a project for "older" Hartz IV-recipients. "Quit smoking, else face sanctions" is their approach for re-integrating them. Failing to show up one lesson costs a one-day support.
Compared to 2009, sanctions by jobcenters in 2012 against Hartz IV-recipients are up by some 38 percent - this year alone 1.017 million cases. On average 106 euros ($138) as fines have been levied so far- in total around 108 million euros.
(according to a news report of t-online-news Dec. 10th, 2012)