The traffic light coalition wants to finance an electricity price brake for the citizens by skimming off profits from energy companies. “Chance profits” at companies due to the high energy prices would be skimmed off, said Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) on Sunday at the presentation of the federal government’s third relief package.
The federal government initially relied on an agreement at European level, but the coalition partners were also prepared to “quickly implement” such a so-called excess profit tax at national level alone, said the Chancellor.
Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) referred to proposals made by the EU Commission for an excess profit tax and a brake on electricity prices. He estimated the resulting opportunities for relief for citizens to be in the double-digit billions.
“The partial skimming off of chance profits creates financial leeway that should be used specifically to relieve consumers in Europe,” says the coalition committee’s decision paper on the third relief package with a total volume of 65 billion euros. The federal government will “emphatically” work to ensure that there is “quickly” an agreement at EU level. Otherwise, Germany will “implement the change itself”.
Scholz was convinced that the introduction at European level would succeed “quickly”. In Europe, however, there is a great deal of interest in doing this together. He therefore does not believe that the implementation at EU level will drag on “for weeks and months”.
The electricity price brake for basic consumption by private households will then be financed from the profit skimming, according to the coalition’s decision paper. “Private households can be credited with a certain amount of electricity at a reduced price.” They would be “notably relieved financially and at the same time there would be an incentive to save energy”. The same rule would apply to small and medium-sized companies with a utility tariff.
Scholz also announced that the coalition will postpone the previously planned increase in the price of CO2 by one year. It should have risen by five euros per tonne on January 1, 2023. This should now only take place on January 1, 2024. “This means that the previously planned follow-up steps in 2024 and 2025 will be postponed by one year,” says the decision paper of the traffic light coalition. (AFP)