Budgetary Politics and Elections: An investigation of public expenditures in West Germany
Title: Budgetary Politics and Elections: An investigation of public expenditures in West Germany
Author: LESSMANN, Sabine
Publisher: Berlin/New York, W. de Gruyter
Citation: Berlin/New York, W. de Gruyter, 1987, The future of party government; European University Institute, Series C-Political and social sciences, 4
The 1986 pre-election year in the Federal Republic of Germany was an interesting one. Starting with the communal elections in Schleswig-Holstein in March, the parties began to prepare themselves for the big upcoming event - the general election in January 1987. The governing Christian Democrats (CDU) suffered a severe vote loss in this March election as part of their most loyal supporters - the farmers - decided to abstain due to a general dissatisfaction with EEC regulations and agricultural government policies. In order to avoid further farmers' boycotts for the next 'Lander'-elections in Lower Saxony in June, Bavaria in October and Hamburg in November, the federal government sprang into action. A 500 million DM programme was passed in the beginning of June, which reduced the farmers' contributions to the agrarian social security system with retrospective effect to January 1986. As a result of the reactor accident in Tschernobyl another 500 million DM were promised to cover the losses of agricultural products because of radio activity. In order to appease the farmers even more, a special election gift of 100 million DM to subsidize fallow land was given to Lower Saxony's farmers one week before the election took place. At the same time the parliament increased veterans' benefits by 2,15% from July onwards, further increases being promised by January 1987. The predominant social policy issue, however, concerned old age pensions, more precisely, the question of adopting a so-called 'baby year' in pension law. The coalition government in Bonn decided to give all women born before 1921 a monthly payment of 25 DM for each child. The programme will start in October 1987 and will gradually include all female pensioners with children by 1990. Described by Chancellor Kohl as a new dimension in social policy, the programme will cost 3,3 billion DM per year by 1990.
(Published version of EUI PhD thesis, 1985.)
Initial version: http://hdl.handle.net/1814/5270