The parties of the tripartite government coalition in Germany agreed after 22 hours of negotiations on a new aid package of 65,000 million euros so that citizens and companies can face the increase in the prices of energy and inflation.
Among the different measures, the German government contemplates the introduction of a brake on the price of electricity for consumers, financed by the “casual benefits” of energy companies.
Thus, the plan is to eliminate these unforeseen benefits for producers who, due to the design of the electricity market, receive the currently very high market price for the electricity they produce at low cost, mainly renewable energies and electricity generated from coal . and of nuclear origin.
At a press conference to present this third aid package, the German chancellor recalled that the European Union is working to adjust the energy market, and in this sense he stressed that the German government will apply its plans “quickly”, “either with the European regulations”, if it arrives shortly, or “at the national level”.
The brake on the price of electricity thus contemplates offering private consumers a certain quantity of electricity at a reduced price, which would be equivalent to “basic consumption” and which would be a relief for households and small and medium-sized companies and an incentive to save energy, he stressed.
Scholz also announced a successor to the subsidized public transport ticket, which between June and August allowed unlimited travel throughout Germany on regional and commuter transport for 9 euros per month, although he advanced that “naturally not at that price.”
To finance this ticket, which would range between 49 and 69 euros, the central government, which must now reach an agreement with the federal states, will make 1,500 million euros available.
Other measures included in this third package include extending the energy bonus of 300 euros in a single payment also to retirees and 200 euros to students.
A reform of housing aid is also contemplated by which the beneficiaries will go from 700,000 to two million people by January 1, 2023.
In addition, the benefits per child of currently 219 euros per month will increase by 18 euros for the first and second child as of January 1, 2023 and for a period of two years and the aid will also increase with the reform for this same date of the benefits for the long-term unemployed.
“Germany stands united in difficult times. We will overcome this difficult moment as a country. We have taken all decisions to ensure the security of our energy supply despite the challenge of Russian actions,” Scholz said.
He added that all the necessary decisions have also been made “so as not to leave any citizen alone.”
The Finance Minister and leader of the Liberals, Christian Lindner, assured that this third package, which with 65,000 million euros doubles the volume of 30,000 million of the previous two together, will be financed without the need for new debts.
He specified that from the federal budgets of 2022 and 2023 some 32,000 million euros can be mobilized thanks to the evolution of income and the “provisions” made for next year, while the “casual benefits” of the energy destined to the aid package will add, according to their estimates, some tens of billions.
“It is a package that combines solidarity with justice in benefits and solidity, we maintain our capacity for action, we strengthen the people who need our solidarity (…) and we do not forget the middle class that works hard”, stressed.
The co-chairman of the greens, Omid Nouripour, spoke of a “substantial” and “round” aid package, while stating that Germany “does not allow itself to be divided” in reference to the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine and the energy shortage caused by Russia and the consequent increase in prices.