IN FOCUS / 2015-07-22
Bed capacities: Balearic Islands least suited for booking at short notice
School summer holidays have begun in many German Länder. Based on an EU-wide comparison of regions, looking now for a hotel room is expected to be least successful on the Spanish holiday islands. In 2013, 78% of the hotels on Mallorca, Ibiza and the other Balearic Islands and 72% of the hotels on the Canary Islands were booked up. In Germany, hotel occupancy was highest in Hamburg (59%) and Berlin (57%).
Austria is best suited for a spontaneous hotel holiday. The occupancy rate of bed places was partly well below 15% in Burgenland, Niederösterreich, Steiermark and Oberösterreich in 2013.
For this evaluation, hotels, guest-houses and inns were included, while other types of accommodation such as camping sites or holiday dwellings were not taken into account. Data were not available for the United Kingdom.
IN FOCUS / 2015-07-22
Judgment on home childcare allowance mainly affects western Germany
In its judgment of 21 July the Federal Constitutional Court declared the Home Childcare Allowance Act unconstitutional. Lately, parents not relying on early childhood education provided by publicly supported day care centres or on publicly supported day care by child minders had been entitled to 150 euros per month.
In the first quarter of 2015, home childcare allowance was paid approximately 455,000 times. Parents in the new Länder and Berlin claimed such state benefits much more rarely (29,500 cases) than parents in the former territory of the Federal Republic (425,900 cases). The expected period of receipt also was much shorter in the new Länder (15.5 months) than in the former territory of the Federal Republic (20.0 months). In Thüringen it was shortest (13.3 months), in Bayern and Baden-Württemberg it was longest (20.6 and 20.5 months).
While parents in eastern Germany relatively rarely received home childcare allowance, many more relied on day care for their children than in western Germany. In March 2014 the percentage of children under three in childcare in the new Länder was 52.0%. In contrast, only 27.4% of children below the age of three were in day care in the former territory of the Federal Republic.