Bundestag votes back extended jobless benefits

17th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

17 June 2005, BERLIN - Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's supporters voted a law through on Friday to restore more generous jobless benefits to older unemployed people in Germany, less than a year after pushing through the cuts in the face of demonstrations.

17 June 2005

BERLIN - Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's supporters voted a law through on Friday to restore more generous jobless benefits to older unemployed people in Germany, less than a year after pushing through the cuts in the face of demonstrations.

Centre-right opposition parties who are forecast to win power at a likely general election in September rejected the changes. Those parties have the power to delay the legislation in the Bundesrat upper house so that it expires when the election is called.

In the Bundestag lower house, Schroeder's Social Democrats justified their about-face as a response to continuing high unemployment in Germany.

The legislation postpones by two years, from 2006 to 2008, a reform that will shorten the duration of pay-linked benefits for unemployed people over 45. Currently a person aged 57 or older when losing a job can claim a benefit for as long as 32 months.

Leftist groups organised big demonstrations last summer against the benefit cuts.

DPA

Subject: German news

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