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Traffic light decides subsidy of 300 euros for all workers

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The heads of the traffic light coalition partners SPD, Greens and FDP agreed on a €1 billion aid package due to the sharp rise in energy prices due to the Russian attack on Ukraine. “We will relieve half of our society quickly, without bureaucracy and socially just,” says the document, which is available to the Tagesspiegel. “Therefore, we will introduce an energy price lump sum: all employees subject to income tax (tax brackets 1-5) will receive a one-time energy price payment of €300 as a salary supplement.”

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Payment is made through the employer’s payroll. The lump sum is subject to income tax, he said. The self-employed must receive an advance of a punctual reduction in the advance payment of personal income tax.

“The surcharge must reach the beneficiaries quickly and without bureaucracy and be granted ‘on top’ regardless of the applicable tax regulations (travel allowance, mobility bonus, tax-free employer reimbursements, work ticket)”, stress the leaders of the SPD, Greens and FDP.

The most important decisions at a glance:

  • it will be once Energy price flat rate of 300 euros paid as salary supplement.
  • the Energy tax on fuels is limited to the European minimum for three months gone down.
  • at local public transport should be for 90 days a ticket for 9 euros/month give.
  • families get for each child In addition to the child allowance, a single bonus of 100 euros. The money is paid through the family coffers.
  • who receives social benefitsreceive what has already been decided Single payment of 100 euros another 100 euros. furthermore, the Subsidy for heating expenses at 270 euros.
  • With a modification of the Building Energy Law, for example, in new buildings As of January 1, 2023, the efficiency standard 55 will be binding be determined.
  • Owners should be obligated Replacement of 20 year heaters.
  • As of January 1, 2024, each Newly installed heating with 65 percent renewable energy function.

The FDP leader and finance minister, Christian Lindner, placed the fuel tax reduction at 30 cents per liter for gasoline and 14 cents for diesel. It is not the lump-sum deposit bonus that he had put into play, but the tax bonus that has now been decided.

High fuel prices at a gas station in Bad StaffelsteinPhoto: dpa/Nicolas Armer

It is not clear how the “9 by 90” project will be implemented in concrete terms, that is, the reduction of the monthly price of bus and train tickets to nine euros for three months. It will be financed by the federal states, which will receive more funds from the federal government.

The coalition also has to follow up on the details of the €300 grant. It is clear that it must be processed for the employees through the payroll, and that it must be done “quickly and without bureaucracy”. It is also clear that the subsidy should be taxed, so the relief will be greater for low earners than for high earners. Anyone with more than €58,600 in taxable income per year pays the top tax rate of 42 percent on additional income. The advance payment of the tax is reduced once by 300 euros for the self-employed.

Passengers stand at a stop in front of a Kasseler Verkehrs-Gesellschaft (KVG) tram.Photo: Swen Pförtner/dpa

Lindner stressed that the exact costs of the new overall package cannot yet be precisely quantified, but could be at the level of the first aid package decided in February. According to previous information, it will cost 15,600 million euros.

To alleviate the particular difficulties of families, a single bonus of 100 euros will be paid through the family benefits office for each child in addition to the child benefit. The bonus will be offset against the child allowance.

Given the greater dynamics of prices, the already agreed single payment of 100 euros for recipients of social benefits will also be increased by 100 euros per person. “With current energy prices, it can be assumed that by January 1, 2023, the standard requirements will reflect the high price increases and will therefore be increased appropriately,” the decision document says. As has already been decided, the heating subsidy rises to 270 euros.

In addition, numerous measures were decided to get out of dependence on Russian gas, oil and coal, and energy saving will be massively strengthened and promoted. With an amendment to the Building Energy Act, for example, the 55 efficiency standard will be binding on new buildings from January 1, 2023.

More about the Ukrainian war on Tagesspiegel Plus:

Homeowners should be required to replace heaters that are over 20 years old; As of January 1, 2024, all newly installed heating systems must be powered by 65% ​​renewable energy.

The coalition committee with the leaders of the SPD, Greens and FDP started at 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, after eleven o’clock there was “white smoke” around 8:00 a.m. on Thursday.

The crux of the matter was what kind of relief makes the most sense. A Lindner push for a fuel subsidy of up to 40 cents a liter initially met with resistance from coalition partners. The SPD and the Greens also want to make mobility cheaper, but at the same time give more relief to people with low incomes. The Greens also pushed for measures to save energy.

Economy and Climate Protection Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) called for more efforts to save energy as a condition for an aid package. For example, he described gas heaters as a “discontinued model.”

The goal of the German government is to reduce dependence on Russian gas, oil and coal in view of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. The federal government rejects an energy embargo, but wants to rapidly reduce dependence on Russia, for example on liquefied gas from Qatar. Consultations were made more difficult by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s surprising announcement that, among other things, all EU countries should in future receive ruble payments for Russian gas deliveries; this increases the pressure to end these gas deliveries quickly.

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