As one of the first projects of the next federal government, the consumer advice centers are calling for stronger climate protection at fair prices for citizens. The chairman of the Federal Association (vzbv), Klaus Müller, demanded a guarantee at the German Consumer Day of his organization on Monday in Berlin: additional income through a higher CO2– 100 percent of the price would have to be returned to the consumer. This is possible, for example, through a tax reduction in the price of electricity and the introduction of climate checks.
Everyday life more affordable, easier, safer and more sustainable
Müller emphasized that consumer protection should be high on the agenda of the upcoming government in order to make people’s everyday lives more affordable, simpler, safer and more sustainable. It can no longer be the case that vacationers have to pay many months in advance for travel bookings. Private old-age provision should not only be worthwhile for the insurance industry. Mobility must be possible everywhere even without a car.
It is good that the current government has presented a law for fair consumer contracts in the fight against cost traps, said Müller of the German press agency. “But there has to be more.” There is a need for action in the case of unwanted door-to-door sales, non-transparent contracts in shops and telephone advertising. “This strengthens consumers’ rights and, in the end, stimulates competition.” The legislative plans for fairer contracts aim, for example, at terms and rules for automatic renewal. They are to be decided this Thursday in the Bundestag.
In a discussion round, SPD chancellor candidate and finance minister Olaf Scholz spoke out in favor of a readjustment of private pension provision with a public provider that works better and differently than the Riester pension with “incredibly high sales costs”. The core is, however, to guarantee a stable level of the statutory pension. FDP Vice Johannes Vogel campaigned for a “statutory share pension” based on the Swedish model through a non-profit fund, which could also serve to stabilize the statutory pension.
Open to sustainability seals
Green Chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock said with a view to more climate protection measures, politics must set the framework so that people can live well and at affordable prices without the world around them deteriorating. Smaller, emission-free cars are also needed for families, and not just for 80,000 euros. CDU Vice and Food Minister Julia Klöckner said that consumers need transparency about production processes such as supply chains or whether food has been produced after slash and burn, for example. She was open to “a kind of sustainability seal”.
Left-wing top candidate Dietmar Bartsch criticized high electricity prices in Germany and called for much stronger investments in renewable energies. He complained about the closure of many railway lines. Structural changes are necessary instead of giving the buck to “imaginary consumers”.