In 1993, the ratio of socially motivated public expenditure to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose to a new high. The central government, the Länder, and the social security institutions spent Sch 616 billion on social welfare programs, corresponding to 29.2 percent of GDP. To the extent that the business cycle recession raised the claims for unemployment-related benefits, the rise was expected; but it was also reinforced by newly introduced benefits like nursing care for the elderly. Federal outlays on unemployment insurance and assistance benefits registered the strongest increase (23 percent), closely followed by maternity benefits (20 percent). Nursing care allowances, introduced mid-year, represented a substantial expenditure item right from the start, as did the previous disability benefit which it replaces. Federal subsidies to the public pension scheme rose somewhat less strongly. They cover roughly 23 percent of overall pension outlays (excluding nursing care), almost 1 percentage point more than in 1992. To this should be added the civil service pensions for which the federal government is directly responsible and where the implicit subsidy ratio is over 57 percent. In all, the federal government in 1993 spent Sch 213 billion on social programs, almost one-third of total outlays. Compared with the trend of federal government social expenditure, those incurred by the social security system rose at a slower pace, by 4.7 percent to a level of Sch 331 billion in 1993. They also increased less than in the previous year for all categories of risk, with work accident insurance expenditure actually declining. Health insurance expenditure went up by 7.6 percent, with payments for medical consultation and dental treatment expanding above average. Retirement benefit outlays continued rising moderately, by 4.2 percent for employees and 3.6 percent for self-employed. The major reason was that the cost-of-living adjustment of pensions of 4 percent was not substantially higher than the rise in nominal GDP of 3.6 percent. Structural factors which in the past have added to the upward drift of expenditure appear to have had the opposite effect in recent years. Thus, the benefit/earnings ratio has declined since 1992. A look at the structure of beneficiaries shows that there are almost twice as many female pensioners than male. This is due partly to the high number of widow's pension recipients, partly to the on average longer benefit periods resulting from the lower retirement age for women as well as from their higher life expectancy.
Sozialquote erreicht einen neuen Höchstwert. Die Entwicklung der Ausgaben für soziale Sicherheit 1993; Social Expenditure Rising to New High
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