Germans Told to Abolish Minimum Wage and Raise Retirement Age To Pay For Migrants

While this plan has been met with criticism and resistance, it's aimed more at making sure German citizens don't get put out of work and that the country doesn't collapse more than it's meant to help the migrants. Germany will spend 6 billion euros on caring for the 800,000 migrants expected to arrive in the country by the end of the year. This is double the amount of migrants from last year and double the cost. In order to avoid piling debt onto later generations, the Ifo Institute has requested the country's retirement age to be raised from 63 to 70.

“It is not a matter of playing off the pensioners against the refugees,” the institute’s budget expert Niklas Potrafke said, in response to criticism of the plan. “Extending the age of retirement won’t affect current pensioners,” he explained, adding “in the course of demographic change we would anyway all work a bit longer.”

The Ifo Institute’s president, Hans-Werner Sinn, is also outspoken on the issue, insisting that Mr Potrafke is right. With more and more people flocking to Germany, Mr Sinn said “we’d better raise the retirement age to feed them”

A strong advocate of bringing migrant children into the education system, and adults into paid employment as soon as possible in order to fully integrate them into German society, Mr Sinn argued that elder Germans would also be able to play a useful role in educating the newcomers in the ways of German life.

And he argued that the influx of migrants should be the catalyst for social reform, starting with abolition of the minimum wage. “We should take advantage of the influx of refugees as an opportunity for a new Agenda 2010″, he said, referring to widespread reforms enacted in 2003 – 2005 which aimed to boost the German economy. Income taxes were cut significantly, as were unemployment and pension benefits.

By abolishing the minimum wage, it's assumed that more businesses will be able to employ unskilled migrant workers, helping them integrate into society and not be a burden on the welfare system, much like the burden America faces from its own welfare system. However, abolishing minimum wage and raising the retirement age would only be temporary solutions to a growing problem. While the number of migrants in Germany has doubled since last year, there's always a chance that more will arrive than originally thought.





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