Dhe CDU chairman Friedrich Merz called for a clearer focus on low earners in the relief discussion – and less help for households with medium or high incomes. “1,000 euros in energy money for those in the lower third would make more sense than 300 euros for everyone,” he told Focus.
“I also don’t understand why big companies get financial support per se, but small ones don’t. There must be clear criteria here as to who has what entitlement.” Merz, who also heads the parliamentary group, added: “But the fact is: the state cannot help everyone.” And: “In this crisis we will see companies that not make it. And we cannot promise to balance everything out of the federal budget.”
Due to the sharp rise in energy and food prices, the federal government is currently working on another relief package. On Tuesday and Wednesday she will advise at a cabinet retreat in the guest house Schloss Meseberg north of Berlin. According to information from the coalition parties, new relief steps are to be presented “promptly” (Green Party leader Ricarda Lang) or “in a few days” (SPD Secretary General Kevin Kühnert).
SPD chief: redistribute random profits
The SPD in particular also makes suggestions as to how the state could increase its income. The SPD chairman Lars Klingbeil advocates the introduction of an excess profit tax on crisis profits from large companies. “We can redistribute random profits from large companies to people with an income of 1,500, 2,000 or 3,000 euros. This is also a question of social cohesion in our society. Everyone has to do their part so that we can get through this challenging time well,” Klingbeil told the newspapers of the Funke media group, according to the preliminary report.
He quickly promised further relief, “which should primarily focus on small and medium-sized incomes”. “Pensioners and students must also benefit from this,” Klingbeil told the Funke newspapers. “It’s about structural changes such as housing benefit and other one-off payments that help quickly.”
The coalition called on Klingbeil to work together: “The polyphony in politics must end now,” said the SPD politician. “The traffic light will find pragmatic solutions for the citizens. We will succeed if we find our way back to the common spirit from the coalition negotiations.”
Municipalities demand allowances for low earners
The municipalities are also demanding targeted allowances for people with low incomes. “We cannot afford fuel discounts or an unchanged continuation of the extremely cheap 9-euro ticket,” said the general manager of the German Association of Towns and Municipalities (DStGB), Gerd Landsberg, of the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung”. The relief should therefore focus on people with low and middle incomes and “work simply and unbureaucratically”.
“The easiest way would certainly be a temporary allowance based on income limits and the number of children,” suggested Landsberg. Relief is necessary, but must be “targeted and also take into account that the state’s capacity is limited,” Landsberg pointed out. Politicians must therefore make it clear “that we will have to accept all the losses in prosperity and that the state is not in a position to compensate for every disadvantage”.
The relief package must therefore be “combined with a moratorium on new benefits and promises of benefits,” according to the DStGB’s demand. “We can’t pretend that the world hasn’t changed since February 24th. This also applies to traffic lights. You should adjust your coalition agreement under this aspect. We simply cannot finance more state benefits for many,” said Landsberg.
Green boss promises timely relief
Green party leader Ricarda Lang told the newspapers of the Funke media group that the federal government’s third relief package would “come soon”. Many people were already worried about how to pay their bills this fall and winter, Lang said.
At the same time, Russia’s head of state, Vladimir Putin, is again threatening to pause gas supplies and thus with a further artificial shortage of supply. “It is all the more important that we as a society stand together and that we support those who feel the price increases particularly clearly,” said the Greens politician.