In Germany, various government measures have been introduced to provide financial support to children and their families. Usually, an application has to be submitted and the amount of support depends on the parents’ income and the specific situation in which the children and their families live. Applications must often be sent to different government agencies depending on the case in question. The financial support is not sufficient, moreover, for ensuring that lower-income children and families have a fair chance to participate in society. That is why children and their families in Germany need a new form of financial support: the inclusive universal child benefit.
This benefit would replace a number of the government support mechanisms currently available: the child benefit, the statutory allowances for children’s needs granted under Germany’s social insurance laws, the supplementary allowance for low-income families, and the lump-sum benefits from the country’s education and participation package. The more inclusive universal child benefit would decline as household income rises in order to assist those children and adolescents in particular who are growing up in poverty. The recipients of the benefit would be the children and adolescents themselves. The federal government would be responsible for funding the benefit. This new form of support would be transparent and unbureaucratic, and applying for it should be as easy as possible (i.e. via digital channels).