In view of the burden on the population from rising prices, SPD leader Saskia Esken believes that a return to the debt brake in the coming year is not feasible.

“I think we have to suspend the debt brake again,” she said in a summer interview on ZDF on Sunday. “And then, of course, we also have to facilitate long-term relief.”

In order to be able to finance this necessary financial relief for people with middle and low incomes, a stronger contribution from the wealthy will certainly be necessary. Income tax relief, on the other hand, is “not a way to broadly relieve the population, we have to find other ways”.

For the first time after three exceptional years due to the corona pandemic, the debt brake anchored in the Basic Law is to be observed again in the 2023 federal budget. This provides for only a small net borrowing.

The co-chair of the SPD positively assessed the proposal by consumer protection minister Steffi Lemke (Greens) for a moratorium on gas and electricity cuts. “This is urgently needed,” said Esken.

In the event of a further escalation of the energy crisis, Lemke had suggested protecting citizens from electricity and gas blockages in the event of late payments. “In the event of an absolute crisis, the Federal Network Agency may allow energy companies to pass on increased prices to consumers despite a price guarantee,” said the consumer protection minister.