ARCHIV - 01.04.2022, Berlin: Raed Saleh, Landesvorsitzender der SPD Berlin und Vorsitzender der SPD-Fraktion im Berliner Abgeordnetenhaus, bei einem Interview mit Redakteuren der Deutschen Presse Agentur im Kurt-Schuhmacher-Haus. (zu dpa "Energiekrise: SPD-Chef Saleh will Milliardenfonds für Härtefälle") Foto: Carsten Koall/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

Berlin’s SPD state and parliamentary group leader, Raed Saleh, accuses Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) of passing on the costs of their own energy policy failures to consumers. “It is right to secure industry and jobs. But Habeck wants to pass on the feared cost explosions of up to 500 percent to consumers,” Saleh told the Tagesspiegel on Tuesday. “This is cool politics.”

Previously, Habeck had questioned the prioritization of gas supply for private households. A permanent interruption of industrial production would have massive consequences for the supply, warned Habeck on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Berlin state politicians have been pushing for more federal aid for poor people for a long time – and the security of their supply. Social Senator Katja Kipping (left) recently said: “Fighting poverty is a task for the federal government.”

Saleh demanded from Economics Minister Habeck that the federal government have to contribute more to the exploding energy costs. Due to the increased costs in many areas of life between 2021 and 2023, the federal government will have “around 50 billion euros in unplanned additional income from precisely these cost developments in VAT,” said Saleh.

“I’m very worried that the middle class in Germany is slipping,” said the SPD politician. Habeck must now “do instead of warning”. Saleh also criticized that the Greens themselves had contributed to the current development with their policies.

“The Greens already declared natural gas to be a transitional technology in 2020 and in the 2021 election campaign in order to force the phase-out of coal and of course knew the dependence on oil and gas supplies from Russia and the low levels in our storage facilities,” said the Social Democratic state and parliamentary group leader in Berlin. “Habeck’s promises to deliver liquid gas from all over the world seem castles in the air.”

Saleh said that Habeck only warned “more and more flowery” about his own decisions. “He behaves like a chief physician who doesn’t put in a bypass during a heart emergency operation, but complains about the allegedly wrong diet of the patient in recent years.”

In Berlin, social hardship is to be cushioned with an energy fund of up to 380 million euros. The SPD and the left as well as the fund want to expand this significantly. So far, the Greens want to use the money for increased energy costs in the state budget.