The energy crisis as a result of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine was the first item on the agenda at the two-day parliamentary group meeting of the Berlin SPD deputies before the state party conference on Sunday.

In a resolution, the Social Democrats called for several measures from the federal government to alleviate the acute financial pressure on low earners in particular: including a temporary reduction in sales tax, an increase in the Hartz IV rate and the introduction of an energy allowance for low incomes.

In a resolution that was passed in the late afternoon and is available to the Tagesspiegel, the Social Democrats in the House of Representatives described increased operating costs and general price increases as “a real risk of poverty”. In contrast, the so-called tank discount has a temporary “substantial reduction in the sales tax rate with a focus on basic needs” for people who earn little, a “disproportionate relief effect”.

The Berlin Social Democrats are also campaigning for a ban on the termination of energy contracts by electricity suppliers. “We want to generally prevent energy cuts for Berliners by the end of 2023 and call for the assumption of unindebted electricity debts by the job centers and social welfare offices,” the paper continues.

The deputies also dealt with the dependency of the eastern German federal states on oil and gas supplies from Russia. “Private households, public infrastructure and Berlin’s economy are dependent on Russian gas supplies,” says the resolution. It should not come to a “supply and social split in Germany,” it says in the direction of the federal government.

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Energy and business locations and their jobs in East Germany should not be endangered by the exchange of Russian energy sources, and would also have to be supplied with a purchase stop of Russian crude oil from other sources “to ensure security of supply with fuels”.

“In addition, Berlin is preparing to deal with supply bottlenecks with replacement plans,” announced the Social Democrats.

The Berlin SPD will re-elect its board of directors at a party conference in Neukölln on Sunday and will debate and decide on content-related proposals. Among other things, the Social Democrats could turn away from the further construction of the A100. The retreat of the elected Berlin SPD MPs takes place the two days before in Potsdam.