German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks with German Vice Chancellor, Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel. Germany's Cabinet agreed to a draft budget for 2014. (Agence France-Presse)
BONN — Germany’s new government passed the second draft of the federal budget for 2014 on Wednesday, with total spending set at €298.5 billion (US $414.1 billion) and a defense budget of €32.8 billion, about €500 million less than the previous year.
The government of conservative Christian Democrats and center-left Social Democrats under conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel also passed the draft of the benchmark figures for 2015 and fiscal planning through 2018. According to the long-range plan, the federal budget will rise to €327.2 billion by 2018.
The second draft for the budget of 2014 will ensure sustained funding of the Bundeswehr, according to the government. Reductions in civilian personnel due to the military’s ongoing restructuring will continue.
According to a Financial Ministry statement:
“The German Cabinet today adopted the second government draft of the 2014 federal budget, the key figures for the 2015 federal budget and the financial plan up to 2018. It also adopted the 2014 Budget Support Act. As of 2014, the federal budget will be structurally balanced. From 2015, the budget will require no new borrowing at all.”
The federal budget should have been in effect since January, but was delayed due to last fall’s federal election and the formation of the new government. The final vote of the parliament on the federal budget is expected around the end of June.