Energy crisis: "Balanced package": Habeck defends gas price brake

Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck has asked for understanding for the expert's proposal for the planned gas price brake, which critics consider to be socially unbalanced.

Energy crisis: "Balanced package": Habeck defends gas price brake

Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck has asked for understanding for the expert's proposal for the planned gas price brake, which critics consider to be socially unbalanced.

When asked whether speed came before justice, the Greens politician said in the ARD "Tagesthemen": "In a certain sense, that's how it is." However, he emphasized that "the reverse conclusion would be even more wrong - that is: to do everything perfectly, to think through every nuance of justice and then to pay out the money in September next year". The Vice Chancellor warned that this would be "a fatal political mistake".

It is a "flat-rate instrument," said Habeck on the gas price brake. "It is unfair in the sense that large consumers - which usually go hand in hand with high incomes (...) - receive the same relief as smaller incomes and lower consumption," admitted the Vice Chancellor. "That must be corrected or compensated for by active social policy." That is why the measures in the relief packages are primarily aimed at those on lower incomes. "All in all, it should be a balanced package."

Stage model for relief

The expert commission set up by the government presented a phased model on Monday. In December, the experts propose a one-off payment for gas customers in private households and businesses and price brakes for a basic quota of gas from March for these groups. According to the proposals, a gas price brake should take effect for major customers in industry from January.

The expert commission's proposals were met with criticism, mainly because they are supposed to work according to the "watering can principle". In a dissenting opinion by Commission member and Verdi boss Frank Werneke, it was said that the proposed gas price brake model was not sufficiently socially balanced.

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