24 Oct 2019, 12:13
Freja Eriksen

Climate package disadvantages the poor and the old - govt auditors


[Find the report, published on 21 November 2019, here.]

Germany's newly agreed on climate package puts low income citizens and retired people at a disadvantage, the country’s Court of Auditors (Bundesrechnungshof) has said in a report, writes Tagesschau. The auditors pointed out that planned tax reductions for energy efficient renovations would only benefit Germans with high incomes. The Court of Auditors also identified "significant implementation problems" as the country's financial administrations lacked information to prevent double funding. The climate package's mobility premium for commuters likewise received criticism as the cost of its implementation may turn out "disproportionate to the financial relief achieved". Researchers from the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) have also found that the government's plan for carbon pricing would leave low-income households with a larger burden than high-income households. Keeping a national CO2 price "socially fair" has been one of the government’s main arguments for starting with a price of only 10 euros per tonne.

Germany’s Court of Auditors, whose job it is to oversee government spending and identify possible savings, has repeatedly criticised the government’s climate policies. In late 2018, the auditors said the government lacked an overview of the total cost of the energy transition and called for greater cost transparency, efficiency and coordination of the Energiewende in order to keep the public on board. Kay Scheller, president of the Court of Auditors, in February recommended that Germany introduce a CO2 price.

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