Christian Lindner played his tank discount in a way that shouldn’t be done in a coalition of three, lest he cause bad blood. Discussed with almost no one, released through the newspaper “Bild”. Perhaps the finance minister and head of the FDP just wanted to show his followers that, if he could, he would give them up to 40 cents per liter of gasoline and diesel, given the commotion of more than two euros caused by Russia’s war against Ukraine. increase in fuel prices. Therefore, other countries are also fighting for relief.
“If I were an oil company now, I would try to get a cartel deal at €3.50 a litre,” says an opposition politician sarcastically, noting that prices already appear to be clearly driven by high take-up. profits of companies and refineries. because the price of oil has fallen significantly again recently. Economy Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) is already examining these price formations at the Federal Cartel Office.
The Greens and the SPD stress that a blanket discount cannot be socially justified if everyone pays for it, even if top earners with big cars are relieved according to the watering-can principle. Lindner estimated a relief of 40 cents per liter with 6,600 million euros in costs for three months. To be sure, he called his initiative a contribution to the debate. A working group of the SPD, the Greens and the FDP was set up to come up with an additional $1 billion aid package.
Classification according to income: up to 150 euros for three months?
Instead of the Lindner tank discount, according to information from the Tagesspiegel, Hubertus Heil (SPD) is now discussing an idea from the Federal Ministry of Labour. Also because the Greens cannot come up with a coherent concept for the energy money they demand for low and middle incomes. The “Bild am Sonntag” was the first to report on a so-called mobility allowance, the first drafts of the Ministry of Labor provided for 40 or 50 euros per month for gross income of up to 2,000 euros, 35 euros per month for 3,000 euros and 20 euros for income up to 4000 euros payable – limited to three months. So a maximum of 150 euros with an income of 2000 euros.
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This would have the advantage that citizens would also feel somewhat relieved about rising electricity and heating costs. It would be paid for by the employer out of wage bills, offsetting the subsidies with correspondingly lower payroll tax payments. In the case of Lindner’s proposal, there would be “zero distributive justice”, it was said in SPD circles. Whether the FDP will accept it is an open question. With a view to social benefit recipients, pensioners, trainees and students, relief, possibly through one-off payments, is also being examined.
According to “Bild am Sonntag”, the concept would cost the state one billion euros per month. Therefore, the top earners would walk away empty-handed. SPD party leader Lars Klingbeil hopes a deal will be reached at traffic lights next week. “It’s important that we don’t waste money on the watering can, but specifically provide relief to those with small and medium incomes, because they are now the hardest hit,” Klingbeil told the paper, rejecting the tank. discount. He sees no reason, high incomes to subsidize his energy spending. People like him could fill up for 2.30 euros, the state doesn’t have to help them. “But my neighbor, who travels to Hamburg as a nurse, needs support now,” Klingbeil said.
It is known and decided until now that the heating subsidy will be increased. The subsidy for the beneficiaries of the housing subsidy should be double the initially planned amount of 270 euros for a single-person household. Two-person households get €350 and €70 for each additional family member, that has already been decided. In addition, saving measures such as speed limits are being discussed, but the FDP rejects it.
Merz: Better to reduce energy and VAT
In the Tagesspiegel interview, CDU chief Friedrich Merz also rejected Lindner’s bedtime tank discount as completely wrong. “I have to say I’m somewhat surprised, to say the least, that this is coming from the FDP,” Merz said. “The idea is clearly based on the will to do everything except what the Union has proposed,” Merz said of Lindner’s plan.
“Our path is much simpler: reduce the energy tax and sales tax on diesel and gasoline from 19 percent to seven percent. That would be a little bureaucratic, fast and good help for everyone”. .
Energy prices have risen 27 percent in the three weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine, according to the Verivox portal.
Calculate the energy costs for a typical three-person household with an annual heating requirement of 20,000 kilowatt hours, an electricity consumption of 4,000 kilowatt hours, and an annual mileage of 13,300 kilometers.
According to Verivox, on February 24, the day of the invasion, the energy costs of such a model home were 5,454 euros per year. On Thursday, March 17, the same amount of energy cost 6,946 euros.
Oil heating even became more expensive by 59 percent. According to Verivox, the cost of gasoline increased 21 percent in the three weeks and 34 percent that of diesel.
Therefore, Economy Minister Robert Habeck is trying to agree on new sources of gas and oil supply from Norway to Qatar, so that dependence on Russia will decrease no later than next winter, but also pressure on prices .