A survey shows that citizens are worried about energy prices. The coalition wants to decide on new relief soon.
The end of summer in Germany is overshadowed by major concerns: is there winter enough gas for heating? Is it still possible to pay for a warm apartment in view of the dramatic price increases?
An exclusive opinion poll by the research institute Civey for our editorial team shows that the citizens are concerned about the coming months. They are hoping for further relief from the federal government – but there are serious doubts about the political crisis management. The traffic light coalition intends to decide on further relief in the near future.
Asked about the current largest Worries In view of the rising energy prices, 61 percent of the participants stated that they feared a lack of political solutions. More than half (54 percent) fear possible social conflicts. Many people are also very worried about their personal situation: 44 percent fear financial bottlenecks, 28 percent fear that they will not be able to heat in winter. Eight percent of citizens are worried about having to forego consumption.
Inflation and the gas crisis trigger concerns
the Prices for fuel, gas, but also food have risen sharply as a result of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, further price increases, especially for energy, are to be feared. Inflation was 7.5 percent in July. the energy prices were even 35.7 percent higher in the past month than in the same month last year.
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Before autumn and winter, there are also fears that Russia will lose its support for Ukraine because of Germany gas deliveries could be massively throttled or restricted entirely.
the federal government is therefore trying to fill the gas storage tanks before winter – and calls on the population to save energy. More than half of the citizens act accordingly: 56 percent of the survey participants stated that they are already reducing their energy consumption.
However, many people are also saving in other areas as a reaction to the high energy prices. Almost four out of ten citizens (37 percent) restrict themselves free time activities including holiday expenses. A third put off major investments such as buying a car.
Relief: what is the federal government planning?
Around a fifth of people save when buying groceries such as bread or vegetables and when buying luxury goods such as coffee. According to the survey, 21 percent spend less on gifts. However, 18 percent also stated that they had not acted differently because of the rising energy prices.
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In response to the dramatic price hikes, the federal government had two relief packages decided to do the first half a year ago shortly before the start of the war. This included, for example, various one-off payments, tax cuts, extra payments for families with children as well as the fuel discount limited to the end of August and the 9-euro ticket, which also expires at the end of the month.
Both packages add up to around 30 billion euros. Because an end of charges currently not foreseeable due to the high price increases, the coalition is currently working on a third package.
“Many people are already worried about how they will feel about theirs in autumn and winter bills should pay, ”said Green Party chairwoman Ricarda Lang to our editorial team. At the same time, Russia’s head of state, Vladimir Putin, is again threatening to pause gas supplies. “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.” So far, however, the government’s plans are unclear.
Tax cuts: Half of the citizens are for it
According to the Civey survey further tax cuts for our editorial staff. Around a third would like to see an increase in social benefits and an extension of the 9-euro ticket. 29 percent of citizens are in favor of continuing the tank discount, and 27 percent are calling for further one-off payments. An increase in the commuter allowance is in favor of 22 percent of the population.
Social associations criticize that pensioners, for example, have benefited too little from the previous relief. Because of the expected price increases for gas, they are also demanding quick and direct help for low wages. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) now promised: “We have made it our goal to ensure that everyone who needs support is supported.”
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SPD leader Lars Klingbeil announces “pragmatic solutions” with which “especially small and medium-sized incomes” should be considered. “Also pensioners and pensioners and students must benefit from it,” Klingbeil told our editorial team. The SPD chairman mentions changes in housing benefits and “further one-off payments that help quickly”.
Citizens’ money is to replace Hartz IV
The coalition wants to pay housing benefit to more people from the beginning of next year. That housing benefit is a rent subsidy from the state for people who earn very little but otherwise do not receive any social benefits that already take housing costs into account. The coalition also wants to replace the previous Hartz IV system from the turn of the year with the new citizens’ allowance – and, according to the will of the SPD and the Greens, significantly increase the payments.
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The FDP has so far rejected this. Regarding the one-time payments promised by Klingbeil, Christian Dürr, FDP parliamentary group leader, told our editorial team: “More single payments only help to a limited extent.”
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The party of Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner relies primarily on tax relief. This means: “The state takes less. Not: He takes a lot and then distributes it,” says Dürr, referring to Lindner’s plans for tax cuts: “salary increaseswhich alone offset the consequences of inflation, must not lead to higher taxation.
The FDP politician demands: “We have to contact the hard-working middle class company think.”
9-Euro-Ticket: No nationwide connection solution
It is foreseeable that after the end of August there will be at least no nationwide connection solution for the 9 euro ticket. The tank discount in its previous form will also be phased out. SPD General Secretary Kevin Kühnert indicated in the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung” but further help for commuters.
Despite resistance from the FDP, SPD leader Klingbeil continues to hope for the introduction of one excess profit tax: “We can redistribute random profits from large companies to people with an income of 1500, 2000 or 3000 euros.”
The coalition’s plans may become clearer shortly. “The new one will be in a few days relief package are on the table,” said Kühnert confidently. Green leader Lang announced that the third package would come “soon”. Scholz and his ministers will discuss with each other in a cabinet meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday. According to information from the coalition, however, it is uncertain whether the new package will already be in place. It is said that there is still a lot in flux.
This article first appeared on morgenpost.de.
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