German towns call for energy support payments for poor households amid gas price hike
The Association of German Towns and Municipalities (DStGB) has called on the government to support poorer households financially amid the rapid price hike for gas and other energy sources, the Bild Zeitung reports. “Energy must not be a privilege of the rich,” DStGB head Gerd Landsberg told the newspaper. Landsberg argued the “explosion” of energy prices would put great pressure both on individuals and on towns and municipalities due to higher heating costs as well as higher heating allowances for households which depend on Germany’s social benefits scheme (Hartz IV). The association head said Germany’s municipalities could be "hit hard" by the rising gas prices. Some local utilities have increased prices by nearly 70 percent, meaning additional costs of more than 780 euros per year for a family of four, writes Bild.
Rapidly rising energy prices and particularly for natural gas have sent shockwaves across European economies in the past weeks, leading to concerns that not only households but also businesses could suffer from substantially higher costs. The government so far has said it sees no reason to intervene in the market.