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Gas surcharge: government cannot agree on a solution


They wanted to find a solution for the gas surcharge, but according to SPIEGEL information, talks between the chancellor and the economics and finance ministers failed to reach an agreement. Time is of the essence: Customers will have to pay the fee from October.

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Economics Minister Habeck, Chancellor Scholz and Finance Minister Lindner at the closed conference of the Federal Cabinet in May at Schloss Meseberg

Photo: John Macdougall / AFP

There is still no clarity as to how to proceed with the controversial gas levy.

A conversation on Tuesday evening between Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), Federal Minister of Finance Christian Lindner (FDP) and Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) was unsuccessful.

DER SPIEGEL learned this from circles in the traffic light coalition.

After the heads of the traffic light coalition spoke negatively about the levy, a quick solution must now be found within the federal government.

Without a further decision on this, the fee of 2.49 cents per kilowatt hour of gas would be levied on October 1st.

The majority of the 20 million gas customers in Germany have already received corresponding letters from their suppliers.

The cabinet had actually planned to deal with changes to the gas levy today.

Among other things, it is about limiting the group of gas importers who are eligible.

Those companies that continue to make profits should not receive the gas levy, but only those whose existence is threatened because they have to spend a lot of money on replacing Russian natural gas.

Is there a hanging game?

The corresponding changes in the legal basis should actually be decided in the cabinet on Wednesday morning and discussed in the relevant Bundestag committee.

According to SPIEGEL information, this will probably not happen either in the cabinet or in the Bundestag.

This is met with criticism from the opposition.

»All traffic light parties have publicly canceled the gas levy.

Now they have to show their colors, «says the CDU energy expert Andreas Jung to SPIEGEL.

They want to apply for the repeal in the Energy Committee for the third time.

»The traffic light has caused enough chaos, now there can't be a dead end as well.«

The discussion between Lindner, Scholz and Habeck should also be about financing an alternative to the gas surcharge.

Apparently this did not lead to any result.

The gas surcharge should bring in around 34 billion euros and be distributed to gas importers.

According to the current status of the regulation, gas customers would already pay the fee in October, and the payment would then be made to the companies at the end of the month.

The main beneficiaries are the Düsseldorf energy group Uniper, which is to be nationalized, as well as the Leipzig gas company VNG and the Gazprom subsidiary, which is placed under trusteeship and is called Securing Energie for Europe (Sefe).

It too is about to be nationalized.

The gas levy is also in danger of failing for constitutional reasons.

Large parts of it would be paid out to state-owned companies, which is legally questionable.

Federal Finance Minister Lindner has long been of the opinion that this is not a problem.

Habeck had expressed serious concerns.

Government circles told SPIEGEL that there should still be "a timely solution".

Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2022-09-28

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