Nicolas Bouliane

What's new for Berliners in 2024 Posted on

Every January, a bunch of things change in Germany. This means that as soon as the firework explosions die down, I must get to work updating All About Berlin’s guides and calculators.

This year is no different. This is a summary of the changes that I believe affect most of my readers.

Minimum wage

Minimum wage was raised from 12€ to 12.41€ per hour. The maximum minijob income was raised from 520€ to 538€.

Public transit

Public transit tickets got 6.7% more expensive on average. AB tickets are 30 cents more expensive (3.50€), and ABC tickets 40 cents (4.40€). The Monatskarte is 8€ more expensive (99€).

There is no change to the 49 euro ticket. It could get more expensive in May, but that’s not guaranteed. Berlin’s public transit association might also introduce a 29 euro ticket in the summer.

Health insurance

Some public health insurers got more expensive because they raised their extra contribution amount (Zusatzbeitrag). With AOK Nordost, you will pay 0.8% of your income more. With Barmer, you will pay 0.69% more. With TK, there is no change.

The maximum cost of health insurance went up. If you earn more than 59,850€ per year, you will notice.

Use my health insurance calculator to see how much you now pay for health insurance. It will updated by January 5.

Immigration

The minimum income for the Blue Card went up 3.4% (45,300€ or 41,042€ depending on your profession).

The minimum income for the freelance visa (in Berlin) went up by 61€. It’s your rent + your health insurance + 563€.

Taxes

The income tax calculation was adjusted for inflation, like every year. This means that if your income stayed the same, you will pay a little less income tax.

Use my tax calculator to see how much taxes you now pay. It will updated by January 5.

Citizenship

The Ausländerbehörde now took over all citizenship applications for Berlin. This used to be handled by the Bürgerämter in each district. They have a huge backlog – over 40,000 open applications – but there are still reasons to rejoice.

First, they’re operating digitally. Digital applications, digital document storage. They spent a large part of 2023 collecting and scanning existing cases. Future cases will be digital.

Digitalisation

Blue Card and citizenship applications are digital, and more are coming in 2024. A new appointment system for the Ausländerbehörde is also coming some time this summer. The Berlin immigration office is digitalising better and faster than other offices, and they deserve some praise for that.

We might also see the digital Anmeldung that was promised for Spring 2023. It’s now supposed to come “in 2024”.

Restaurants

VAT in German restaurants goes from 7% back to 19%. The lower VAT was meant to boost the gastronomy industry after COVID. This means that eating out will get (even) more expensive in 2024.

Pfand

Plastic milk bottles now have a Pfand. Milk cartons still go in the yellow bin.

Cannabis

Cannabis should be legalised this summer. I have not yet caught up with the latest news, but RBB has all the details.