The German capital of Berlin spent almost 3 percent of its budget on migrants last year, totaling €1.1 billion, official figures show. Meanwhile, the government argues there is no money to renovate schools and sports halls or maintain transport infrastructure as debt levels spiral.
The data was made available from Social Democrat Cansel Kiziltepe’s Social and Integration Directorate after two parliamentary questions were asked by Senate politician Gunnar Lindemann of the Alternative for Germany (AfD).
The Berlin Senate spent 2.9 percent of total expenditure on migration alone. The Berlin state budget last year totaled €37.9 billion. However, Berlin faces soaring debt levels. At €63.2 billion, Berlin is the second most indebted federal state, after North Rhine-Westphalia.
As Remix News previously reported, Berlin is spending nearly half a billion a year on just 12 residences for migrants, which means a substantial amount of the overall budget for migrants in Berlin comes down to the issue of housing. However, many of the benefits paid out to migrants actually come from the federal government.
According to preliminary analyses, the state of Berlin will have to spend around €613 million in the 2023 budget year under the law on the care of asylum seekers, the Senate stated.
“This money does not belong to the Christian Democratic Union or the Social Democrats. It belongs to the people of Berlin, and the Senate must manage it for their benefit and in their trust,” said AfD’s Lindemann, who pointed out that there is no money for the renovation of schools and sports halls or for the maintenance of transport infrastructure.
Meanwhile, the number of asylum seekers continues to rise significantly. According to the Senate’s reply, Berlin admitted 19,687 asylum seekers last year under the fixed quota, which does not include those who fled from Ukraine.