The head of the Confederation of German Trade Unions (DGB), Reiner Hoffmann, has raised a speed limit in view of high fuel prices. “We could temporarily introduce a speed limit of 100 on motorways and 30 in cities to curb energy consumption,” Hoffmann told the newspapers of the Funke media group. “It’s right to save every drop of gasoline that we can save.”
However, this is not yet an answer to structural problems, he added. “We have to create energy security, and that can be achieved above all with the expansion of renewable energies.”
In addition, Hoffmann spoke in favor of specific relief for citizens. “Those who already have enough shouldn’t be served well either.” A discount per tank, as proposed by Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP), would help the oil industry, but not passengers.
Hoffmann proposed a “mobility allowance” that was socially oriented and would replace the commuter allowance. In addition, he demanded subsidies for heating costs that went far beyond what was agreed, and a temporary VAT reduction on gas and electricity.
According to a report in “Bild am Sonntag”, the traffic light coalition is currently advising on such “mobility money”. This is supposed to be tiered relief based on income. The money must be transferred with the monthly salary. The employer can recover the amount from the state by paying correspondingly less income tax. According to the newspaper, this is a proposal from the Labor Minister, Hubertus Heil (SPD).
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SPD leader Lars Klingbeil expects an agreement on further relief next week. For working people with low and middle incomes, they would have to be significantly different, Klingbeil said in an interview with “Bild am Sonntag”. He still couldn’t name a sum.
To finance the project, DGB President Hoffmann called for massive tax increases for the wealthy. “We need more equity in our tax system, whether it’s inheritance tax, wealth tax, income tax or capital gains tax,” he said.
Hoffmann asks that the home office obligation be maintained
Also, Hoffmann suggested sharing the load like after World War II. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine is creating a completely new situation that should not be forbidden to think about. “Therefore, one should also think of a lien on the property, such as equalizing charges.” In 1952, all assets over DM 5,000 were subject to a 50 percent tax, albeit staggered over 30 years.
Hoffmann also calls for a quick withdrawal from the relaxation of the corona virus. “We have record incidences, and the situation may worsen again in the autumn,” said the head of the DGB. “I advocate that the Infection Protection Act and the Covid Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance be rapidly tightened. We must not risk the workplace becoming a source of infection again.”
Despite the large number of infections and massive criticism from the federal states, a number of nationwide corona requirements have already expired. Hoffmann emphasized: “Under the conditions of the pandemic, the obligation to work at home must be maintained.” Many companies stayed with the home office beyond March 20 based on company agreements. However, there are also companies that absolutely do not want to work from home. “That’s why we need the compromise.” (dpa)