Lisa Paus – Financial policy in the family department

Left, green, feminine and financially similar: the new family minister, Lisa Paus. Image: Felix Zahn / / Felix Zahn


The new family minister has been chosen: Lisa Paus succeeds Anne Spiegel, who has resigned. Officially, your resume gives little indication of your eligibility for this position, but your resume isn’t everything in life. Walking in the footsteps of the new minister’s family policy.

04/14/2022, 15:4104/16/2022, 11:02

Giovanna Rettig

Twitter abounds with opinion. Since the network has existed. Now the Twitter community has something to comment on again: Elisabeth “Lisa” Paus, a green finance politician, is said to campaign for families in the future. She moves into the federal cabinet, succeeding Anne Spiegel (Verdi), as minister of family affairs.

An economist in the family department? Whose passion has it been for the economy since the beginning of their political career? An emotion on Twitter. Especially in the conservative division.

The Verdi fans, on the other hand, are happy: A woman on the left wing of the party who campaigned for basic child safety in her financial responsibility. This point is one of the central objectives of the traffic light coalition agreement. And Paus obviously wants to tackle this goal as quickly as possible when he’s in the toilet.

Basic child security should be a tool for equal opportunities and at the same time fight child poverty in Germany. The aim is to bundle previous state financial support payments for children and replace them with a basic amount for all children from birth. A complex undertaking, for this reason, in addition to the experts of the Ministry of the Family, the Ministries of Finance, Justice, Labor, Education and Housing are also involved.

Aside from her basic child safety work, 53-year-old Paus officially has little experience in the areas of family, women’s advancement, children and youth. There are few points in his resume that give an indication of the social streak of the politician. One of them, a bit scarce, mind you, is a volunteer social year, which Paus completed after graduating from high school in 1988 at the St. Elisabeth children’s home in Hamburg.

“Wirecard was also a strange group of men, where it was never about the question, but basically about the question: who has the longest one?”

Lisa Paus at work on the Wirecard Investigative Committee

But what is clear: Paus is an avowed feminist. After the current green finance minister of Baden-Württemberg, Danyal Bayaz, left the Bundestag, Paus moved on to the Wirecard commission of inquiry. In addition to working to clear up the financial services provider’s fraud scandal, Paus also expressed a very personal opinion on the scandal and the management of the former DAX group, which no longer exists: “Wirecard was also a strange group of men who not addressed the question is gone, but the focus of the question: who has more time? ” He told the “Berliner Zeitung”.

From Emsland to Berlin

In this conversation, she also stated that such fraud would not have been possible if the women had taken responsibility in the group“The critical voices within Wirecard were from women. But they fought at the executive level and were not taken seriously. They warned and were not heard.”

Lisa Paus is originally from Emsland in Lower Saxony, from a family with her own medium-sized company: Paus Maschinenfabrik was founded by her father in 1968. Paus has lived in Berlin for some time and is a member of the Bundestag for the Charlottenburg constituency. Wilmersdorf since 2009. Paus has been deputy group leader of the green parliamentary group in the Bundestag since December 2021. Here she was previously responsible for the topics of finance, budget, economics, labor and social affairs. Previously, she was a full member of the finance committee and the finance working group.

Lisa Paus has long been committed to social justice in financial policy.

Lisa Paus has long been committed to social justice in financial policy.Image: Laurence Chaperone

From 2017 to 2021 Paus was spokesperson for financial policy and head of the finance working group of the parliamentary group of the Greens. In addition, she was previously a member and chair of the finance committee and a deputy member of the budget committee.

He also directs the Berlin regional group of Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen. She was also their main candidate in the federal elections in 2017 and 2021.

Pau’s single mother

In 2009 Paus had a son. However, since 2013 she has had to raise her son by herself. His partner died of cancer. This is one of the reasons why, as Paus herself writes on her website, she is engaged in human and self-determined euthanasia.

In 2016, one of the few points in his life appears that gives an indication of Paus’s competence in family politics. At that time, the Green Party Congress chose the “family budget”, which Paus had firmly drafted, as its new concept of family promotion.

Even as a financial policy, he had social issues in mind

But a CV that shows in bullet points which positions a person once held says little about a person’s opinions and attitudes. The fact that Paus is fighting for equal opportunities and support for families becomes clear in an interview the politician gave to broadcaster Phoenix in February 2021.

In it, Paus criticizes the support measures introduced at the time by the CDU and SPD governments as “absurdly small”. The conversation was about one-time payments to families with children of 150 euros during the one-month lockdown in winter 2020/2021. In his statement, Paus referred to the demands of trade unions and social organizations, which is quite unusual for a financial politician.

But if you take a look behind the scenes, Paus more often than not stands as a fiscal and financial politician for families and social issues in general.

Paus fights tax discrimination against women

Even as a state politician in Berlin, he campaigned for tax justice. His concern was that by fighting tax evasion and tax fraud, more public money could flow into hospitals, schools and daycare centers. In her view, affordable housing should remain under non-profit sponsorship and be newly built, so she has spoken out clearly against real estate speculation.

She has also always wanted to combat tax disadvantages for women. Even during her time in state politics, she focused her work on making women financially independent and thus also on fighting poverty among older women.

With these and other demands, Paus also entered the federal election campaign for the Greens in Berlin in 2021.

For the online feminist magazine “Edition F” she writes an entire guest article on marriage splitting and explains why this puts women at a fiscal disadvantage.

Real against the Left

Sociologist Jutta Allmendinger of the Humboldt University of Berlin is adamant that Paus is the right person for the post of Family Minister. At least that’s what the Twitter community is letting her know about. Most importantly, her tweet at least suggests this, because Paus has spoken out against the separation of her spouse for years.

Paus’s naming shouldn’t just be an interesting topic for Twitter. The Greens already had an internal dispute over the two wings of the party during the formation of the government in late 2021. Real against the Left.

At that time there were fierce squabbles when it came to filling the Ministry of Agriculture. Wanted on the left Anton Hofreiter, Realos Cem Özdemir. The Realo have won. Now the ministerial posts are occupied by three reallo and two on the left. After Anne Spiegel (also on the left wing) was eliminated, it was clear, at least for the left corner of the Greens, that her successor had to come from her camp. The realos saw it differently.

But the two leaders of the Greens, Ricada Lang and Omid Nouripour, must have been particularly concerned not to waste too much time – to leave little room for arguments and, above all, for speculations. The Greens did not want to give the impression that they only cared about themselves during the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, a pandemic still raging around the world and the climate crisis.

Lisa Paus is relatively far left on the left wing. She is certainly not the favorite candidate of the vice-chancellor and Realo Robert Habeck. It remains to be seen whether she will ultimately have to wage an internal moral battle similar to the one the Economy Minister is fighting with herself right now – and how much realpolitik she will ultimately have to concede.

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