Berlin (dpa) – More than two million citizens in Germany will receive state aid for heating costs in the coming months due to high energy prices. On Thursday (March 17), the Bundestag decided on a financial injection for housing benefit recipients, as well as for many students and trainees.
The money should be paid once and should be in the account if possible before the utility bill has to be settled with the heating costs.
“With the subsidy for the cost of heating, we specifically support citizens with low incomes,” State Secretary for Housing Cansel Kiziltepe (SPD) said in the Bundestag. “With the stoplight, housing should be affordable.” The subsidy is an important sign of social justice.
The subsidy is higher due to the war in Ukraine
Specifically, the beneficiaries of the housing subsidy who live alone must receive 270 euros. Two person households get 350 euros, for each additional roommate there is another 70 euros. Students with Bafög, beneficiaries of Bafög Advancement Scholarships and Vocational Training receive a flat rate of 230 euros.
The aid had already been decided before the war in Ukraine, but originally with significantly lower amounts. Because energy prices have increased significantly since then, the SPD, the Greens and the FDP have doubled the subsidy.
According to the Ministry of Housing, around 2.1 million citizens, such as pensioners, single parents or people who earn little, will benefit from it. The money must be transferred directly to the accounts without a request.
Opposition: Aid is not enough
Union and AfD criticized in the Bundestag that the grant came too late, was set too low and the pool of beneficiaries was too small. It was “at best a first aid campaign for a few”, said union parliamentarian Anne König (CDU).
The left agreed with the subsidy, but called for more relief measures. According to consumer advocates, the subsidy is clearly too small. The Federal Consumers Association required at least 1,000 euros per household so that the heating bill could also be paid.