Germany’s aspiring coalition parties signal energy price relief for households
Germany's prospective new government coalition has signaled it will provide financial relief to households hit by the spike in energy costs, news agency dpa reports in an article carried by the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Bernhard Daldrup of the Social Democrats (SPD) said in parliament his party, the Greens, and the Free Democrats (FDP) would look to find “adequate solutions” for those affected by high costs during the coming heating period in winter. Low-income households are particularly at risk of suffering electricity or gas supply cuts, which had to be urgently avoided, for example through a one-off heating allowance, the SPD negotiator for buildings and housing in the ongoing coalition talks said. SPD deputy leader Kevin Kühnert said housing benefits could be adapted accordingly in the near future, adding that the aspiring coalition partners would work on an amendment to Germany’s carbon pricing scheme in the heating sector to split costs more evenly among tenants and landlords. Green Party politician Christian Kühne also said low-income households needed financial relief amid the price hike for gas, petrol and electricity, pointing out that the three parties had already agreed on phasing out the renewable levy that electricity customers pay with their power bill over the coming legislative term.
Energy prices across Europe reached record levels in recent months due to a wide range of reasons, including economic recovery in many countries, lower renewable power output, higher emissions trading prices and depleted gas storages. Politicians from across the political spectrum have called for measures to ease the burden on households and businesses in recent weeks. Unresolved questions regarding climate action effects on purchasing power, and how the financial impact can be distributed fairly in society, are among the key issues the next government needs to address.