Germany's highest court curbs cuts to jobless benefits

BERLIN — Germany’s highest court has limited how drastically authorities can cut benefits to jobless people who refuse to co-operate in seeking a new job.

The Federal constitutional Court’s ruling Tuesday stemmed from a case in which an unemployed man had his benefits cut because he rejected a job offer and refused to work on probation.

Under a system introduced in the mid-2000s, people receiving long-term jobless benefits can have payments reduced by 30% if they refuse a job, and by 60% or even lose the benefits altogether if they fall foul of authorities several times within a year.

The court found that the more drastic cuts violate the constitution and that only cuts of 30% are permissible.

The Associated Press