German Agency to Spend 74 Billion Dollars on COVID-19 Pandemic

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Germany’s Federal Employment Agency (BA) is to spend 62 billion euros (74 billion dollars) this year on expenditure relating to the coronavirus pandemic, its finance head said.

BA finance head Christiane Schoenefeld said in Nuremberg on Friday.

The expenditure would lead to a deficit of 27 billion euros to be funded from reserves and assistance from the Federal Government, Schoenefeld said.

The record outflows were largely made up of 23.5 billion euros in unemployment payments and more than 19 billion euros in financing the government-funded furlough scheme, known as short-time working in Germany.

Schoenefeld said the agency remained fully functional, in spite the huge outlays, “No one needs to fear for their payments,” she said.

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“The consequences of the crisis will continue into 2021 when we expect a considerable deficit,” she said after drawing up the budget for the year ahead.

The Federal Government will have to provide an additional 3.2 billion euros over the year, with the aim that the agency goes into 2022 free of debt.

The agency is not anticipating a wave of bankruptcies, setting aside 1.6 billion euros for this for 2021, the same as for this year.

But expenditure on in-service training and qualifications and advice for young workers is to be increased.

Schoenefeld predicted that the issue of a lack of skilled workers would once again be significant. (dpa/NAN)

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