Politicians see light and shadow in the relief package

Erfurt /Berlin (dpa/th) – With the relief steps that have now been decided, the federal government has corrected errors in the first packages from the point of view of Thuringia’s Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow. “There are things that are right and things that are overdue,” said the left-wing politician on Sunday in Erfurt when asked by dpa. Ramelow also sees the third relief package as a reaction to public pressure.

The head of government gave a positive assessment of the planned relief for pensioners and a planned electricity price reform. “The bottom line is that the third relief package does not meet expectations sufficiently,” said Ramelow. Other state politicians made similar statements.

Thuringia’s Economics Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee (SPD) described the announced electricity market regulation as “urgently needed and overdue”. Unjustified gains from speculative price gouging should be quickly put a stop to. The core should be a decoupling of electricity from gas prices.

Tiefensee said electricity and gas are the critical issues of the coming winter. “I’m assuming that the measures agreed for small and medium-sized businesses will quickly be specified and implemented.” The master baker, the medium-sized car supplier or the pension operator would also have to receive considerable support.

Energy Minister Anja Siegesmund (Greens) expects that the relief package will help to cushion the hardship of the energy crisis for citizens and relieve companies. Citizens’ allowance, housing benefit reform, rising heating subsidy and increase in child benefit all pointed in the right direction.

The leader of the CDU parliamentary group in the state parliament, Mario Voigt, said the package came late and was too vague. “There is a lack of relief for the normal working population and for the middle class.” A basic heat guarantee and an expansion of energy production are necessary.

The spokesman for the FDP group in the state parliament, Thomas Kemmerich, complained that the electricity price limit was formulated very vaguely and that there was a complete lack of a gas price brake. There was a lack of concrete relief for the middle class.

As long as the debt brake for Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) outweighs social peace in the country, other European countries with less economic power than Germany would take greater relief steps, said Ramelow.

The German state benefits greatly from higher tax revenues from inflation and still negative real interest rates. “This money must be used to prevent people with low incomes in particular from losing purchasing power and standard of living in the long term,” demanded Thuringia’s head of government.

The traffic light coalition of Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) wants to relieve people of more than 65 billion euros after a decision on Sunday. The first two relief packages together had a volume of 30 billion euros. Scholz announced that excessive profits on the electricity market should be skimmed off.

Among other things, it was decided that pensioners would receive a one-time energy price flat rate of 300 euros as of December 1st, students and trainees of 200 euros. In addition, a reduced price should apply for a certain basic consumption in the future. There will also be a new nationwide public transport ticket with a price range between 49 and 69 euros per month. The federal states still have to agree to the financing.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:220904-99-627606/4

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