ARCHIV - 24.01.2022, Sachsen, Leipzig: Ein Gaszähler hängt im Keller eines Einfamilienhauses. Gestiegene Preise belasten die Menschen in Deutschland. Die Bundesregierung will die Verbraucherinnen und Verbraucher entlasten. Doch über den richtige Weg streitet sich die Koalition noch. (zu dpa «Weitere Entlastungen im Herbst gefordert - Streit über Sondersteuer») Foto: Jan Woitas/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

SPD parliamentary group leader Achim Post has brought up a supplementary budget to finance additional relief for citizens. “In view of the further increases in energy prices to be expected, not least due to the gas surcharge, further relief will also be necessary,” said Post of the German Press Agency. There are a variety of options to consider when it comes to funding.

“The debt brake has already been suspended this year, expressly also because of the challenges posed by the Ukraine war and its consequences,” said Post. “This means that there is room for maneuver that can be used in a targeted and earmarked manner for additional expenditure this year if necessary via a supplementary budget.”

That is also possible independently of the question of how the debt brake will be dealt with in the coming year. Finance Minister Christian Lindner wants to comply with the debt ceiling laid down in the Basic Law again in 2023 after years of Corona exceptions.

Meanwhile, the head of the Federal Network Agency, Klaus Müller, warned that consumers in Germany would have to save significantly more energy than before in order to avert a gas shortage in winter. The reduction in gas supplies from Russia to just 20 percent of the agreed volume means that the shortage can only be prevented in two best-case scenarios, Müller told the “Welt am Sonntag”.

“For these scenarios, however, consumers must save at least 20 percent – that is, much more than before,” said Müller. “In all other scenarios, there is already a risk of a gas shortage in December or we have low storage levels at the end of the coming heating period.

In addition to the savings, the transmission of gas to neighboring countries would also have to be reduced by 20 percent, and 10 to 15 gigawatt hours of gas from other countries would also be needed. “If we don’t save a lot and don’t get any additional gas, we have a problem,” said the head of the network agency.