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Controversial traffic light project: Gas surcharge is becoming increasingly unlikely


It should save ailing gas importers like Uniper. In the meantime, the gas levy has become a major issue for the federal government. Shortly before its introduction in October, it could now finally be cleared.

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Federal Minister Lindner, Habeck

Photo: Kay Nietfeld / dpa

In the discussion about the gas surcharge, Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner is now also expressing doubts about the controversial instrument.

The project raises "less the legal question, but more and more the question of economic meaning," said Lindner of the "Bild am Sonntag" (BamS).

“We have a gas levy that increases the price.

But we need a gas price brake that lowers the price," added the FDP leader.

It will still be some time before the federal government provides help for households, crafts, sports clubs or culture.

»A gas price brake must help everyone in an economy quickly«.

Green leader Omid Nouripour has joined the call for a cap on gas prices.

"Of course we also need a gas price cap," said Nouripour on Sunday at the state party conference of the Bavarian Greens in Landshut.

According to Nouripour, such a lid is “a complicated measure”, but everyone is now working on it together.

The gas levy is one of the most important projects of the federal government in the energy price crisis - and has been causing disputes between the coalition partners for weeks.

It is intended to support gas importers who are getting into trouble because of the high purchase prices for Russian gas.

The surcharge for all gas users is currently set at around 2.4 cents per kilowatt hour.

Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) was in charge of planning the allocation.

In the meantime, however, even his own ministry has considerable legal concerns.

According to "BamS", Habeck sent the draft law to the cabinet members last Wednesday, but in the cover letter it was "subject to the financial constitutional review" of the Ministry of Finance.

Reference was also made to the possible alternatives - direct state aid to the gas suppliers in need or taking over the additional costs of the gas importers from budget funds.

Lower Saxony's SPD Prime Minister Stephan Weil called for the latter, also in the "BamS".

He “expects the gas price cap to be in place in October”.

The price cap for gas - and also for electricity - should apply to both private households and the economy.

In addition, Weil called for an effective “bundle of aid programs like Corona”.

It is clear that this will cost money, so much so that the debt brake will not be able to be complied with.

»But if we let companies go bankrupt, it will end up being very bitter for many and much more expensive for public coffers.«

The debt brake enshrined in the Basic Law stipulates that the federal and state governments must always balance their budgets without loans.

Above all, Finance Minister Christian Lindner and his FDP insist on strict compliance with the rule, which was suspended for three years in the federal government due to Corona, from 2023.


Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2022-09-25

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