ARCHIV - 07.04.2022, Berlin: Katja Kipping (Die Linke), Senatorin für Integration, Arbeit und Soziales, spricht in der Plenarsitzung im Berliner Abgeordnetenhaus zur Aktuellen Fragestunde. Fällt ein Feiertag auf einen Sonntag - so wie in diesem Jahr der 1. Mai - haben Arbeitnehmer das Nachsehen. Genau das will Berlins Arbeitssenatorin Katja Kipping künftig ändern, zumindest in der Bundeshauptstadt. (zu dpa: «1. Mai an einem Sonntag - Katja Kipping für Nachhol-Feiertage») Foto: Annette Riedl/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

Because of rising energy prices for tenants, Social Senator Katja Kipping wants to spend as much money as possible from the state’s own hardship fund for private households. “In view of the possible extent of energy poverty, the largest possible share from the fund will be necessary to support private households,” demanded Social Senator Katja Kipping (left) compared to the Tagesspiegel.

As a precaution against rising energy costs, the House of Representatives approved a reserve of 380 million euros with the double budget for the years 2022 and 2023 last week. Of this, 100 million euros should already be available this year, 280 million euros should cushion the higher prices in the coming year.

However, the sum should also cover the increasing energy costs in the public administration buildings. It is therefore currently unclear what amount of this will be available for private households. It is also currently unclear which tenants should benefit from the subsidy. The Senate Social Administration is responsible for the design.

A few days after the budget decision, it was not possible to say more about the fund, explained the spokesman for the social administration, Stefan Strauss: “We are currently negotiating how appropriate help can look like. Those responsible in the Senate and the House of Representatives are discussing various models.”

However, the group of private recipients cannot be too large because of the limited funds, said Greens parliamentary group leader Werner Graf: “For Berlin as a city, too, energy costs will rise significantly, be it for municipal buildings, schools or libraries. For that too large parts of the reserved 380 million are necessary.” It is therefore clear “that Berlin cannot cushion the rising energy costs for everyone”.

Graf also does not see the focus on welfare recipients. “It is important that support is given above all to those for whom the state is no longer bearing the costs.” As with Corona, the aim is to close the gap that is not covered by federal aid.

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The exact design is still open. According to the social administration, there are two complicated points that need to be clarified in particular: The support must be designed in such a way that “in the end, the state’s performance is counted towards social benefits, and ultimately the people affected do not have less money left over,” said spokesman Strauss.

In addition, the aid should not replace a service that the federal government also grants. What the federal government is planning to reduce costs for citizens is currently still unclear.