The SPD chairwoman Saskia Esken criticizes the effect of the tank discount so far and believes that a limited speed limit and driving bans are possible if oil and petrol prices remain so high. “The fact that the mineral oil companies are not now passing on this price reduction in full to consumers, that stinks to high heaven,” Esken told the “Tagesspiegel” (the full interview will be published on Sunday).

“The cartel office has to intervene, of course. The mineral oil companies must not make money at the expense of the taxpayer.” The tax rebate for petrol and diesel enforced by the FDP costs the taxpayer around three billion euros, but is obviously not passed on in full to motorists everywhere.

If fuel prices remain so high, stricter measures cannot be ruled out, emphasized Esken. Because an instrument in addition to antitrust law is the Energy Security Act from 1975, which was passed in response to the oil crisis and which the coalition has now amended. “It allows the government to order temporary measures such as driving bans on Sundays – the elderly remember – or a temporary speed limit,” emphasized Esken. “But also price caps or – in extreme cases – placing companies in critical infrastructures of the energy supply under trusteeship for a limited period of time.”

Esken also wants to tighten the rental price limits previously agreed in the coalition agreement because of the announced rent increases by the largest housing group Vonovia in the traffic light coalition. “We agreed in the coalition agreement that we want to lower the cap on rent increases to eleven percent in three years,” Esken told the “Tagesspiegel”.

“I don’t think that’s enough. You could definitely go there again. Above all, we must prevent another price spiral from being driven by index rents that are linked to inflation.”

She sharply criticized the Vonovia group because of the rent increases for hundreds of thousands of tenants due to the high inflation. Vonovia had taken over Deutsche Wohnen from Berlin. “There’s no connection at all. The energy prices affect the additional costs, but not the cold rent,” said the SPD leader. “Rent increases also hit the small wallets hardest. Before Vonovia fleeces its tenants further, the group should first reduce its high returns.”