Energy: Verdi boss: price brakes are "sufficient to insufficient"

Verdi boss Frank Werneke has warned of major burdens from high energy prices despite planned electricity and gas price brakes.

Energy: Verdi boss: price brakes are "sufficient to insufficient"

Verdi boss Frank Werneke has warned of major burdens from high energy prices despite planned electricity and gas price brakes. "The social balance of the measures is not right," said Werneke of the German Press Agency before the planned vote on the price brakes in the Bundestag. The government's performance with the price instruments is "sufficient to insufficient". After some changes to the government bills, the Bundestag is scheduled to vote on the energy price brakes this Thursday. It is the penultimate plenary day of the year.

Werneke said there is a price cap - for gas of 12 cents per kilowatt hour for 80 percent of consumption compared to 2021. "But, for example, tenants of a poorly insulated two-room apartment have little chance of saving 20 percent," says the Verdi- Boss. "Roughly speaking, this means a doubling of the prices in relation to 2021. Many people are still overwhelmed."

Anyone who has used a lot of energy and has a high income will be relieved according to the same rules. "The bottom line is that for tenants with low or medium incomes, this means support of a few 100 euros per year. Owners of a large house with higher consumption may be supported with several thousand euros."

Werneke: Direct support for low-income households

After the unions sounded the alarm, individual coalition politicians dismissed calls for a price brake into the realm of pipe dreams in June and early July. "And now we have the parliamentary implementation." But there is an uncapped subsidy for every consumption. "In the future we should get to the point where high electricity consumption by individuals, for example those with very large houses, is not subsidized indefinitely," demanded the Verdi chairman.

"It is urgently necessary to support households with low to middle incomes directly in 2023 - as "energy money"," Werneke demanded. If the federal government is now aiming to grant such support through housing benefit, it is misjudging the dramatic personnel situation in the municipalities. "The municipalities can't keep up with the granting of the improved housing benefit when processing the applications," said Werneke. "If people really realize in January, February or March what burdens energy prices will have on individuals and they then have to apply for housing benefit, significant delays are foreseeable."

Energy solos demanded for higher earners

Werneke predicted that there would be more debate about direct payments at the beginning of the year. "Small and low-income households need more support. This discussion will pick up steam early in the year." From his point of view, it would be "absolutely appropriate" to finance it by levying an energy soli on people with high incomes or raising the top tax rate.

Werneke gave the coalition a better testimony in relation to the security of the energy supply. A lot has happened here. "I would give the federal government a satisfactory grade," said Werneke. "The gas storage tanks are full."

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