BERLIN — The German Cabinet has approved a budget for 2018 and a longer-term outlook through 2022 that foresees no new debt.
Germany has had a budget surplus since 2014 and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said Wednesday that higher revenues mean the government can keep its promises to increase spending on many social programs.
Scholz says that in good economic times "responsible" financial policies can "reduce debt and increase investment."
Defense spending is scheduled to increase 1.5 billion euros ($1.8 billion) in 2018 to 38.5 billion euros, then to 41.5 billion euros in 2019.
As the overall economy is projected to grow, those increases won't bring Germany much closer to its NATO commitment to spend 2 percent of GDP on defense.
Scholz says the defense and development ministries have already requested more.