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More pensions, more minimum wage and corona tests that are subject to a fee – that’s what July will bring


Most corona tests cost money again - and anyone who has concluded a contract on the Internet will soon be able to terminate it more easily. The most important changes for consumers at a glance.

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Passerby in front of a test station: in the future, three euros will be charged for corona tests

Photo: Ralph Peters / imago images/Ralph Peters

Consumers are facing numerous changes in July, and not all of them are pleasant: Anyone who owns a property has to take care of important mail from the tax office, parcels are becoming more expensive - and corona tests will in most cases be subject to a fee again.

The new month also brings relief, for example with the EEG surcharge.

The most important changes at a glance:

Elimination of the EEG surcharge

After more than 20 years, the so-called EEG surcharge, which customers pay on the electricity bill, will no longer apply.

It is currently still 3.72 cents per kilowatt hour.

Experts do not expect electricity prices to fall as a result of the abolition, but at least a dampening of the sharp increase.

End of the Corona "citizen tests"

The offer of free rapid tests for everyone ends in June.

"Citizen tests" are only free for certain risk groups: children up to five years of age, women at the beginning of pregnancy, visitors to clinics and nursing homes, members of the household of infected people.

As a rule, three euros are now due out of pocket per test: for example, before attending concerts indoors, before larger family celebrations or visits to older people, after risk contacts in the event of a warning on the Corona app.

Property tax statement

According to a ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court, it has to be recalculated: millions of house, apartment and property owners must therefore submit a kind of second tax return from July to the end of October at the latest, usually electronically via the Elster platform - with data such as hall number, year of construction , living space and standard land value.

Depending on the federal state, sometimes more or less information may be required because the states use different calculation models.

For apartment owners, it is usually a few hundred euros a year, for owners of larger apartment buildings it can also be four-digit amounts.

The owners will probably not find out how much is due in the end until 2025,

Significantly higher pensions

There is good news for the 21 million pensioners in Germany: In the west, pensions will increase by 5.35 percent as of July 1st and by 6.12 percent in the east.

There are also improvements for people who have been drawing a disability pension for a long time.

In the future, pensioners who received a disability pension from 2001 to 2018 will receive supplements.

The fact that the increase in pensions is as strong as it has been for a long time is thanks to the good wage development in Germany.

Packages are getting more expensive

Sending parcels via DHL will be more expensive on July 1st.

A two-kilogram package whose brand is available online now costs EUR 5.49, which is 50 cents more.

The picture is mixed for shipments abroad: in some cases, the fees remain constant, in others they almost double, for example with heavier packages to the USA.

Easier to terminate contracts online

Anyone who concludes a contract on the Internet will be able to terminate it more easily in the future.

From July 1st, so-called continuing obligations will be subject to the obligation to have a cancellation button, with which consumers can get rid of their contracts without much searching and writing letters.

Minimum wage increases

An important change from which many employees will benefit: the statutory minimum wage will increase to EUR 10.45 per hour on July 1 from the previous EUR 9.82.

That is an increase of a good six percent.

In view of the higher minimum wage, some sectors have already adjusted their collective agreements.

No Hartz IV sanctions

Job seekers will have to fear fewer Hartz IV sanctions by the middle of next year.

The possibility of reducing unemployment benefit II by 30 percent in the event of a breach of duty is to be suspended for one year.

This applies, for example, if reasonable work is not accepted.

However, in the event of repeated failure to report or missed deadlines, there is a risk of benefit cuts of up to 10 percent of the standard rate.

The law is scheduled to go into effect on July 1.

Obligation to take back old electrical equipment

Disposing of e-waste is about to become even easier.

Because the obligation to take back old electronic devices will be extended on July 1st.

Then, for example, supermarkets and discounters will also be affected if they offer such devices several times a year.

tobacco tax

This is likely to affect many smokers: E-cigarettes will be included in the tobacco tax from July 1, so the prices of the ingredients, so-called liquids, are likely to rise.


A new EU regulation brings improvements for mobile phone customers.

From July, you should be able to use the same services in other EU countries as at home – provided that the same networks and technologies are available in the Member State you are visiting.

Consumers who can use 5G at home should also have access to 5G services in the 27 EU countries as well as in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

In addition, roaming services are to be automatically interrupted in order to avoid further charges when previously set upper limits have been reached through the consumption of data or call volume.

This also applies to roaming outside the EU.


Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2022-06-30

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