BERLIN (dpa-AFX) - Finance Minister Christian Lindner is relying on private investment instead of public demand for urgently needed housing construction. The majority of investments in housing construction must be made by the private sector, the FDP leader said on Wednesday at the Construction Industry Day in Berlin. Public infrastructure, however, i.e. bridges, railways, roads and digitalization, is a matter for the state. Sufficient funds must be made available here.

Adhering to the debt brake does not mean making mindless cuts everywhere, but rather setting priorities, said Lindner. In terms of investment in the federal budget, he therefore wanted to prioritize security, education and infrastructure. International commitment and the social budget should take a back seat.

The quota for development aid had recently been exceeded - but Germany was no longer one of the strongest economies that could afford this, the FDP politician emphasized. When it comes to social welfare, he said, it must be ensured that no one falls into a bottomless pit after a stroke of fate - but also that every effort is made to ensure that social benefits are only claimed for as long as necessary. "This is not a tough austerity policy," said Lindner.

In order to relieve the construction industry, already high standards for energy efficiency, noise protection or fire protection should not be raised any further. Furthermore, the state should not tighten tenancy law in addition to the rent freeze./tam/DP/stw