SPD faction leader Rolf Mützenich quickly announced further relief for citizens in view of rising prices. “There will be further decisions on the relief before the summer break,” said Mützenich the news portal t-online.
Despite the two relief packages that have already been passed, “we know that due to rising energy and food prices, middle society in particular still needs further relief”.
When asked whether he supported the proposal by Lower Saxony’s Prime Minister Stephan Weil (SPD) to also pay pensioners the energy flat rate of 300 euros, Mützenich said: “I can imagine that. But we will discuss and decide together.”
Federal Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir (Greens) also believes that further aid is necessary. “I’m worried about the current price trend for food due to the Ukraine war,” he told the “Welt am Sonntag”. The federal government immediately put together relief packages to react to the consequences of the terrible war. “And if things continue like this, then I can tell you: after the relief package is before the relief package.”
Özdemir proposed the abolition of VAT on fruit, vegetables and legumes. “The main beneficiaries would be low-income households. We would also create an additional incentive for a healthier diet.” However, it is clear to him that the proposal “will not trigger storms of enthusiasm among all coalition partners”.
In the discussion about biofuel, which is obtained from arable crops, Özdemir campaigned for the specifications for filling stations to be completely abolished. “I hope that we can reach agreement in the interministerial vote on gradually reducing the mandatory admixture quotas for agricultural fuel to zero.” This would free up around 800,000 hectares in Germany for growing food.
However, it will not be possible to implement it quickly, Özdemir said. “It is clear to us that there are farmers who have invested in this area in recent years and need a transition period and new perspectives.”
Federal Finance Minister and FDP leader Christian Lindner called inflation “the greatest threat to economic development and social peace” in the country: “Therefore, combating it must have priority in all important tasks,” Lindner told the “Passauer Neue Presse” (Saturday). .
In order to limit the loss of purchasing power among people, the federal government has already acted through targeted relief. Lindner could imagine tax relief. “We’re doing a wage and income tax reform next year, adjusting the basic tax allowance and the tax rate for inflation. And if I have my way, there will be additional relief for those on low and medium incomes.”
In view of rising consumer prices, Verdi boss Frank Werneke believes that compensation through higher wages is inevitable. “Our course is very clear: Permanently rising prices must be fully offset by permanent collective wage increases,” said Werneke of the German Press Agency. He expects further relief for the population from the federal government – especially with regard to the significantly increased food prices.
SPD leader Lars Klingbeil wants to tax “crisis and war profiteers” more heavily and has his sights set on the mineral oil companies in particular. It cannot be that “the mineral oil companies fill their pockets even more in the crisis,” he told the newspapers of the Funke media group. He deals intensively with the question of how to deal with those who have profited from crises and wars and who have benefited greatly from the current situation.
The SPD chairman was open to an excess profit tax to siphon off extreme crisis profits: “A tax on war and crisis profits is an instrument that is on the table and that I think is very worth considering.”
The Greens are also pushing for this. “We have been observing a decoupling of the price of crude oil and gas station prices for months. A few are benefiting, while a large number of medium-sized companies are suffering from the high energy prices and are wondering how they are going to get through the next year. The excess profit tax would be a logical step,” said party leader Ricarda Lang of the daily mirror. “Italy and Greece have each shown a way, Britain is working on it. The EU Commission proposed this and the European Parliament confirmed it. If the political will is there, Germany can do it too.”
SPD faction deputy Matthias Miersch is pushing for stricter laws in view of the continued high fuel prices. “We have to ask ourselves whether certain profits are not immoral,” Miersch told the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “Politicians must now consider what answers they have in addition to financial relief that will get to the root of the problem,” said Miersch. This also includes skimming off so-called excess profits.
Ifo boss Clemens Fuest warned against such a step. In the current situation, he does not believe in special taxes for excess profits. “The profits are taxed. Introducing special taxes for individual sectors depending on the economic situation opens the floodgates to arbitrariness and populism,” he told the Rheinische Post.
CDU leader Friedrich Merz warned against the expectation that the state would compensate for all the additional costs caused by inflation. “Not every cost development can be offset by the public coffers,” Merz told the editorial network Germany (Saturday). The relief proposals from the Union faction are on the table. These included the abolition of cold progression, a flat-rate energy price for pensioners and students and the reduction of electricity tax to the EU minimum tax rate.