By Virginia Hale
Politicians have admitted that Germany’s recent migrant influx is set to cost taxpayers at least €30 billion a year. In addition to forking out for the day-to-day living costs and of more migrants, the German government will sharply increase spending on its police and security services after an unprecedented influx of migrants entered the country.
A German newspaper has quizzed various departments on how much taxpayers’ money they expect to spend on the excess of a million migrants who arrived in the country last year.
Integration will be the government’s biggest outlay, accounting for two thirds of the total €30 billion figure. Teachers, day care centres, schools, language courses, and housing all come under this umbrella.
The Federation of German Towns and Municipalities estimates that the cost of providing these services to migrants will cost taxpayers €20 billion a year. It warned that by 2018 there would also be €2.6 billion additional costs for accommodation.
The Federation’s CEO, Gerd Landsberg, told Bild: “The integration of refugees is a Herculean task, which in particular challenges the municipalities”.
Among the expenses that municipalities are splashing out for are pupil places at €1.625 million a year, creche and daycare centre places at €400 million a year, schoolteachers at €300,000 a year minimum and other educators, at a minimum cost of €972 million per year.
In addition to this, the Federation says they must pay €35 an hour to a required 350,000 German language teachers, €240 million per year plus for social workers, and that school psychologists are going to cost €40 million a year. As well as this, a planned 75,000 new homes for migrants will cost taxpayers a minimum of €1.125 billion in subsidies.
Eva Lohse, the president of the German Association of Cities, called on the federal government to release funds for migrants quickly, as only then can regions adequately fund integration measures. Ludwigshafen, where Ms. Lohse is mayor, currently has a severe shortage of school psychologists, interpreters, social workers, and daycare educators.
The association president insisted, however, that integration of migrants will help Germany “when language classes, childcare and school mediation are successful in the labour market and housing”.
Beyond integration, the migrant crisis will significantly raise the country’s security bill. The estimated minimum requirement of 20,000 new police officers is set to cost taxpayers a minimum of €1.3 billion per year, a figure expected to have an “upward trend”. In addition to this, 11,000 new positions are to be created at the federal police level.
Member of Parliament (MP) Eckhardt Rehberg told Bild: “We have already alloted a billion euros for a programme for internal security and the spending in this area will increase in 2020 to €2.6 billion.”
Bild reported that Germany’s budget for internal security is set to climb until 2017 by at least a third, from €6.1 billion to €8.3 billion. Last year, Mr. Rehberg suggested the country introduce compulsory service, where Germans would serve migrants.
Social Democratic Party MP Johannes Kahns spoke to Bild about the huge sums the government expects to spend on migrants.
He said: “It is abundantly clear that this mammoth task costs money. But to save now would make things much more expensive in the end. ”