29 Aug 2022, 13:22
Hannah Naylor

German SPD proposes further relief measures to ease burden of high energy prices

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) are preparing a formal list of additional measures to aid German citizens cope with the dramatic increase in energy prices, reports dpa news agency. The draft for a meeting of the party's parliamentary group includes direct payments, a break on the price of basic energy demands, and a flatrate of 49 euros per month for the use of public transport. The government has already put in place several relief measures and is currently finalising another package. Green party leader Ricarda Lang has promised the government will present the new relief measures “soon”, while SPD secretary general Kevin Kühnert said it will happen “in a few days.” The government has said it fears social upheaval and a loss of support for Ukraine without more relief measures for citizens.

The SPD’s new proposals also include the suspension of the pending increase in the CO2 price for two years,  direct payments for people with low or medium incomes, including for families, pensioners, students, trainees and recipients of unemployment benefits. Electricity and gas cut-offs are to be suspended, with a six-month protection against dismissal for tenants who do not pay their service charge or advance payments. The proposals also include an excess profit tax “for those energy companies that are profiting massively from this crisis.”

Germany has so far introduced various energy saving provisions and relief measures for citizens and businesses. Some of these expired last week, while new ones are to be introduced soon. In July, concerns emerged of right-wing extremists beginning to mobilise for autumn protests against high energy prices.

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