Germany: Labour Minister rejects punitive integration measures

Germany: Labour Minister rejects punitive integration measures

Via The Local:

Labour Minister Ursula von der Leyen has rejected calls from within her own party to slash welfare payments to unemployed immigrants who don’t send their children to day care.

Von der Leyen, of the conservative Christian Democratic Union, told Wednesday’s Hamburger Abendblatt that children would the first to suffer if benefits such as “Hartz IV” unemployment payments were cut.

“I don’t think much of coupling child-rearing with cuts to livelihood. The first ones who will have to carry the burden are the children,” she said.

In the wake of Bundesbank board member Thilo Sarrazin’s explosive remarks last week on immigration and Germany’s future, a heated integration debate has begun. Politicians from both the CDU and the centre-left Social Democrats, have suggested punitive measures such as welfare cuts as a way of forcing immigrant communities to better integrate with mainstream Germany.

But von der Leyen said that if there were signs of child-neglect, the Jugendamt had to intervene, “independent of a migration background or not.”