Anyone who consumes electricity in Germany ends up paying almost half of the total amount for taxes and duties. If you fill up, you even pay more than half of the invoice amount to the state. Because energy prices have risen sharply as a result of the Russian war against Ukraine, the government is responding with a variety of measures and benefits.
One of these projects is the energy flat rate: With it, working people should receive 300 euros in September, which will then have to be taxed depending on the level of income. All other groups do not receive this energy money, but instead receive other compensation payments: recipients of social assistance receive a one-time flat rate of 200 euros; Housing allowance recipients should receive 270 euros and students with BAföG entitlement 230 euros.
Pensioners and retired civil servants go empty-handed. The reason is that their pensions and pensions will be significantly increased on July 1st.
Contrary to demands to the contrary from the traffic light coalition, the FDP would therefore like to stick to the restriction of the energy flat rate to working people. “The pension increase of over 5.3 percent in the west and over 6.1 percent in the east from July 1 is permanent and monthly. This makes it clear that the coalition does not leave pensioners hanging, especially since the fuel discount, nine-euro ticket and the numerous other reliefs that the government has launched apply to everyone. Therefore, an extension of the energy flat rate is not appropriate,” says FDP parliamentary group leader Christoph Meyer WELT.
In the SPD, on the other hand, this is judged differently, most clearly at state level. Bremen’s Prime Minister Andreas Bovenschulte tells WELT: “The quite considerable percentage increase in pensions this year is no substitute for the energy money.” The increases are “far too small” for that.
His colleague Stephan Weil from Lower Saxony also called for an extension in the “Bild am Sonntag”: Many pensioners are “rightly angry that all workers get an energy allowance of 300 euros, but they get nothing”. The leader of the Bundestag faction, Rolf Mützenich, had already indicated further relief for pensioners.
SPD energy politician Nina Scheer says: “The most effective and sustainable price brake lies in the accelerated switch to renewable energies, because we have a fossil energy price crisis. In addition, every lever must be set in motion to prevent price increases that can be attributed to speculation and excess profits.”
The opposition is closed to an extension. Union faction Vice Jens Spahn (CDU) demands: “The energy flat rate must also benefit students, pensioners and young families. Fuel and heating costs will remain high for the foreseeable future. A one-time fee of 300 euros is just a drop in the bucket anyway.”
In times of record inflation, “the state must provide structural relief for citizens,” said Spahn. “That applies to energy costs in particular and is most easily achieved through tax cuts, which then have to apply for longer than three months. It would make sense to extend the energy tax cut and massively reduce the electricity tax as well.”
René Springer, socio-political spokesman for the AfD parliamentary group, says: “Of course, pensioners should also receive the energy allowance, especially since the pension increase is not even close to compensating for the loss of purchasing power caused by inflation. It cannot be that employees and Hartz IV recipients benefit from the relief package while our pensioners are completely forgotten.”
Victor Perli, spokesman for redistribution policy for the left in the Bundestag, is also in favor of expanding the lump sum: “Many pensioners are also afraid of the next heating bill. The queues at the food banks are also getting longer because many pensions are low. It is unfair that ministers and secretaries of state get the energy money but pensioners don’t.”
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