The countries are demanding an energy price cap for electricity, gas and heat in order to limit the cost explosions for private households and companies. This was announced by North Rhine-Westphalia's Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst (CDU) on Wednesday after a special conference of the Prime Ministers on the planned relief package III in Berlin. The federal government must quickly agree on a model, warned the chairman of the Prime Ministers' Conference (MPK).
The joint resolution of the federal states states: "The measures must be effective, noticeable, simple, understandable and quick to implement." This is to be discussed in federal-state talks on October 4th. The appointment that was actually planned after the MPK had been postponed by Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) because of the corona infection.
This is to be discussed in federal-state talks on October 4th. The appointment that was actually planned after the MPK had been postponed by Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) because of the corona infection.
The deputy MPK chairwoman, Berlin's governing mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD), described the unanimous vote of the federal states for the introduction of an energy price cap as a "groundbreaking decision" and "core result" of the deliberations. This could be "a stop signal" against cost increases in private households, social institutions, companies and industry.
A sophisticated model does not exist yet, said Giffey. However, costs in the three-digit billion range are to be expected. "In our view, the price we have to pay if we don't make such an energy price cap is many times higher than making this decision now." A commission of experts has to determine the exact costs.
The MPK started around four hours late because the countries with CDU and SPD participation had previously struggled to reach a consensus in separate hours-long meetings. Giffey reported that the topic of the debt brake was particularly controversial. "We were not able to finally clarify the question of whether new loans should be taken out to finance relief."
Wüst said that tax breaks should also be discussed at the federal-state summit next week. This is a particularly fast-acting lever. "We can't afford a long back and forth."
The MPK chairman again called for "a fair distribution of the burden between the federal, state and local authorities". This affects, among other things, the financing of the planned increased and extended housing benefit, rising hospital costs, regionalization funds for buses and trains and the refugee costs. In addition, a protective shield for the municipal utilities is necessary.
Schleswig-Holstein's Prime Minister Daniel Günther (CDU) expressly welcomed the joint resolutions. Economic aid is also necessary for small and medium-sized businesses and the trades, he said after the consultations in Berlin.
"The countries also agree that the relief must be targeted - not according to the watering can principle," said Wüst. Above all, it is about support for people with small and medium incomes as well as for small and medium-sized companies and commuters.
At the beginning of the month, the federal government presented a third relief package worth 65 billion euros to compensate for rapidly rising prices. However, the financing issues have not yet been clarified between the federal and state governments. The prime ministers are vehemently opposed to excessive cost burdens and criticize the style of the traffic light coalition in terms of the surcharge that has not been agreed with the federal states. Individual countries had already threatened blockades in the Bundesrat.
Wüst, who will hand over the chairmanship of the MPK to Lower Saxony at the end of the month, emphasized: "The hand of the federal states remains stretched out." The great challenges can only be mastered together