Reactions to the relief package vary widely

Hanover (dpa / lni) – The multi-billion dollar third relief package of the traffic light coalition has triggered mixed reactions in Lower Saxony. Prime Minister Stephan Weil (SPD) called the project a big step and a “very important decision” on Sunday. The mining, chemical and energy industry union (IG BCE) praised the package as balanced. The state poverty conference of Lower Saxony and the party Die Linke, on the other hand, criticized the plans as insufficient.

Social justice and an appropriate distribution of the consequential costs of the crises would “again be neglected,” complained the managing director of the state poverty conference, Klaus-Dieter Gleitze. At 49 to 69 euros a month, the 9-euro follow-up ticket is too expensive for poor people, and the increase in the Hartz IV standard rate from 449 to 500 euros is far too low. This increase is also “entirely for the 9-euro follow-up ticket on it”.

One-time payments of 300 euros for pensioners and 200 euros for students, like the increase in child benefit, are a first step, but not enough, emphasized Gleitze. In addition, it is the wrong approach if the increase according to the watering can principle should also apply to pensioners with high pensions and income.

The left called the package half-hearted. “It is not an adequate answer to the dramatic situation that many people will find themselves in in view of price increases and inflation in the coming weeks and months,” said the left-wing top candidate for the state election in October, Jessica Kußen. “The announced price for a new local transport ticket is far too high and the negotiations on co-financing by the federal states will take far too long to have a decent offer quickly.” The announced one-off payments and increases in benefits are also “a bad joke” in view of the skyrocketing prices.

IG-BCE boss Michael Vassiliadis explained that it is important that, in addition to low earners, pensioners and students, the broad mass of employees, who are also affected by inflation, are relieved. “This is crucial to stabilize domestic demand in the current crisis.” The package could limit the consequences of the turmoil in the energy markets for people and companies – especially in energy-intensive industries – and at the same time mitigate the risks of an impending recession.

Prime Minister Weil emphasized that some discussions will still have to be held: But the volume of 65 billion euros shows that the state is on the side of its citizens in this crisis, “that it also wants to help those who have particular difficulties in this situation to pay their energy prices in the future”.

Regarding a possible follow-up regulation for the 9-euro ticket with a price range between 49 and 69 euros per month, he said: “If a cheaper ticket becomes permanent practice, then the federal states will also have to shoulder their financial share. How high it is, that will be you have to discuss.”

The state poverty conference stated: “According to the current status, the FDP has prevailed again with the exclusion of the super-rich and those who profit from excess profits from solidarity financing of the costs of the crisis.” A property levy is not planned, chance profits should be skimmed off as part of a reform at EU level to finance an electricity price brake. “By then, the winter will be over and a possible electricity price brake will be forgotten,” said Gleitze.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:220904-99-628569/3

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