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Thursday 29, June

Drastic austerity measures announced for Neukölln

A slate of shocking cuts will see waste disposal, children's services, addiction and homeless support all drastically reduced in Neukölln.

Photo: IMAGO / Emmanuele Contini

Thursday 29, June

Berlin to introduce drastic austerity measures in Neukölln

The list of cuts is truly shocking. After Finance Senator Stefan Evers (CDU) announced his budget for 2024/2025, it has now become clear that this will mean a slate of drastic cuts in social welfare for one of Berlin’s poorest districts. In order to make up €22.8 million in spending, Neukölln is being forced to introduce the following measures – and they read like a recipe for social alienation and catastrophe:

  • Security guards cut at 12 Neukölln schools
  • Day-cleaning of all schools stopped
  • Help for homeless people reduced
  • Addiction support cut altogether
  • Water playgrounds closed for two years
  • Defective playground equipment no longer replaced
  • Waste disposal in parks and green areas halved
  • Three youth centres and family centres to close
  • Youth trips for needy children no longer financed
  • Cancellation of Alt-Rixdorfer Christmas market
  • District coordination reduced until 2025
  • Vacancies in the district office to remain temporarily unfilled

This is one of the most significant announcements from Berlin’s new ruling coalition of the CDU and SPD – and it has been met with widespread anger and disappointment.

The district mayor of Neukölln, Martin Hikel (SPD) expressed his fears that these measures would destroy the social infrastructure for years to come. “We will survive not holding the Rixdorf Christmas market for the first time in 49 years,” he commented, “but it will be be difficult to cope when drug social work or help for the homeless is not available.”