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Ver.di and consumer advocates demand compensation for inflation


Energy is becoming more expensive - and so are many other products. Consumer advocates rate the rise in gas prices as "worrying". Ver.di is also calling for a wage adjustment with a view to the upcoming collective bargaining round.

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Flame on a gas stove in Brandenburg (archive image)

Photo: Z1022 Patrick Pleul / dpa

In view of the high inflation rate, the service union Verdi wants to achieve "clearly noticeable increases in real wages" in the coming collective bargaining negotiations.

These are necessary so that the employees and their families can absorb the price increase, said Verdi chairman Frank Werneke of the editorial network Germany (RND).

"Since the price jumps for food, energy and petrol particularly affect people with lower and middle incomes, our tariff demands include minimum amounts that allow the wage increases to have an above-average effect for these employees," continued Werneke.

Consumer prices in Germany rose by 4.1 percent in September compared to the same month last year.

The main reasons for this were higher energy costs and the value-added tax that was raised again after a reduction.

A so-called wage-price spiral can reinforce inflation and wage demands.

The SPD chairman Norbert Walter-Borjans warned against scare tactics. A year ago, the energy prices fell very sharply due to Corona, now the increase is even stronger. This, together with the expired sales tax cut, understandably caused a great deal of uncertainty, even if the average price increase is much lower, "Walter-Borjans told the RND. Nevertheless, he takes worries about rising gas prices very seriously.

Consumer advocates took this as an opportunity to demand more help for low-income households.

"Rising prices should be cushioned by topping up the housing allowance for households with low incomes," said Thomas Engelke from the umbrella association of the Federation of German Consumer Organizations.

"In the case of households that do not receive housing benefits, the government must do everything possible to ensure that gas bans are not imposed and people are left in the cold if they fail to pay."

The rise in gas prices is "worrying," said Engelke.

“Wholesale gas prices have tripled in the past twelve months.

Further significant price increases are also to be expected for private customers in the coming year. «The lack of security of supply is also worrying.

"The extent to which increased wholesale prices will reach end customers is not yet clear," said the energy policy spokeswoman for the Greens in the Bundestag, Julia Verlinden, of the newspaper.

The federal government must now clarify with the suppliers what price development can be expected from January 2022.

"On this basis, politics can look where there is unreasonable hardship and where support is needed."

FDP sees "political failure"

According to experts, German gas storage facilities are currently 70 percent full - 90 percent is usual before the start of the heating season. The energy expert of the SPD parliamentary group, Johann Saathoff, reassured: »We don't have to worry about supply bottlenecks in the future. The European Union is connected to large import pipelines that guarantee the supply. ”In addition, there are a large number of liquid gas terminals that can import natural gas from all over the world.

However, according to the FDP, the current stocks show a fundamental weakness in the gas supply in Germany.

The fact that the storage facilities were not filled in time was a »political failure«, said the energy policy spokesman for the FDP parliamentary group, Martin Neumann, of »Welt«.

"We need clear structures as to who is responsible on the part of the state and who watches over the security of supply."

dab / dpa / AFP

Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2021-10-14

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