BFederal finance minister Christian Lindner has spoken out against another package of financial relief for citizens before the summer break. According to a preliminary report, Lindner told the news portal “t-online” that he had read such statements: “But there is little financial and legal leeway if we don’t save elsewhere. All proposals must take this into account.”
He advises “letting the previous measures work”. A family of four has just been partially relieved of over 1,000 euros. However, he recommends new measures for the coming year. Above all, the small and middle incomes would have deserved relief. “In view of the high inflation, we must above all prevent cold progression,” said Lindner.
“There are no reserves in the 2022 federal budget”
The Federal Minister of Finance said that the federal government had reached its financial limit. “There are no reserves in the federal budget for 2022.” This also applies to considerations by the federal and state governments to pay pensioners the energy price flat rate of 300 euros. Lindner said pensioners are already benefiting from many other measures, such as the abolition of the EEG levy on electricity bills. In addition, the pension increase comes “now, thank goodness, at the right time”.
Meanwhile, representatives of the CDU and FDP have called on Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) to take action against the oil companies because of the continued high fuel prices. “The tank discount, worth billions, seeps away and the traffic light is watching,” said Jens Spahn (CDU), deputy Union parliamentary group leader, to the “Bild” newspaper. “Ordering the oil multinationals for a report is the least that Economics Minister Habeck can do.”
The FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr also said that it must be avoided that the petroleum industry does not pass on the full tank discount to customers. “Minister Habeck must now put pressure on and, together with the Federal Cartel Office, ensure that the relief takes effect,” he told the “Bild”.
Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) ruled out changes or the abolition of the tank discount. The discount was introduced by legislative procedure. “Now you can’t go here and say we’re going to change that at short notice,” Wissing said in the “Interview of the Week” with Deutschlandfunk, according to the advance notice.
SPD leader Saskia Esken does not rule out a temporary speed limit and temporary driving bans if petrol prices continue to be high. In Berlin’s “Tagesspiegel” she referred to the Energy Security Act of 1975, which was passed in response to the oil crisis and which the coalition recently amended. “It allows the government to order temporary measures such as Sunday driving bans – the elderly remember – or a temporary speed limit,” Esken told the newspaper. “But also price caps or – in extreme cases – placing companies in critical infrastructures of the energy supply under trusteeship for a limited period of time.”
The SPD chairwoman criticized the fact that the tax rebate for petrol and diesel implemented by the FDP costs taxpayers around three billion euros, but is obviously not being passed on in full to motorists. “The fact that the mineral oil companies are not now passing on this price reduction in full to the consumer stinks to high heaven.” The Cartel Office must intervene. The oil companies should not cash in at the taxpayer’s expense.