One could criticize a lot of the federal government’s relief package against the price increases in connection with the Ukraine war. Numerous measures were decided according to the watering can principle. Instead of helping those in particular need, the tank discount and 9-euro ticket also go to the wealthy.

But even this unnecessary general benefit could still be tolerated if, on the other hand, particularly needy social groups were not partially left out – but that is exactly the case.

Pensioners, for example, do not benefit from the 300 euros energy flat rate that only employees who are subject to income tax receive. For poverty pensioners, this non-consideration is dramatic. If you already spend a lot of time at home due to age, you have to heat accordingly. And of course the price increases are noticeable for older people.

Almost a quarter of pensioners in Germany are already suffering from poverty in old age. Ignoring them in one of the most important relief measures shows political carelessness, which should be embarrassing for the two centre-left parties in the federal government (Greens and SPD).

It is of little consolation that as of July 1 pensions will rise by 5.35 percent in the west and 6.12 percent in the east. In May, inflation was 7.9 percent compared to the same month last year. Effectively, the purchasing power of state pensions will therefore decrease.

Incidentally, this also applies to many students. The BAföG training grant will increase by five percent this year. Here, too, inflation eats up the increase, and in many cases students do not get an energy allowance either. According to a recent study by the Paritätisches Gesamtverband, almost 45 percent of Bafög recipients are at risk of poverty – so greater financial support would be required here too.

The federal government should quickly find a way to pay students and pensioners the energy allowance. Those affected deserve every help.