Germany’s traffic light government has unveiled its promised relief package to help consumers with the rising cost of energy. Taxpayers are to be relieved of high utility bills with a one-off lump sum payment of 300 euros, cheaper tickets for public transport, and a tax cut on fuel.
German government unveils energy relief package
Reacting to the sharply rising price of energy and fuel, the German government is stepping in with an extensive relief package for all taxpayers in Germany. This was announced by the leaders of the SPD, Green and FDP coalition at a press conference in Berlin on Thursday.
The package includes the following measures:
A one-off energy tax-relief payment of 300 euros
A three-month reduction of taxes on petrol and diesel
A three-month reduction in the price of public transport tickets to 9 euros per month
Extra benefits for families and low-wage earners
The one-off energy relief payment will be paid to people through their regular wages. However, it will be subject to taxation, so the net amount will be less. Entrepreneurs and freelancers will receive a reduction on their income tax prepayment.
Those on social security will receive a top-up of 100 euros, and families receiving child benefits will be paid an extra 100 euros per child – although this will be offset against the child allowance, so will not benefit high-wage earners.
Relief for drivers and public transport users
Taxation on fuel is due to be reduced to the European minimum for three months. The government is adamant that drivers in Germany will notice the difference at the pump: “We will make sure that the reduction is passed onto consumers,” the resolution states. According to Finance Minister Christian Lindner, petrol will be 30 cents per litre cheaper and diesel 14 cents cheaper.
Finally, the price of public transport monthly tickets will be reduced to 9 euros a month for three months (in a scheme dubbed “9 for 90”). More money will be given to the federal states to finance this via transport associations.
Finance Ministry wants Germany to achieve “energy independence”
The proposals are the result of a mammoth negotiation session that went on late into Wednesday night, and represents a compromise between all parties involved. The package is designed to “cushion further hardship in the area of energy prices,” according to the government’s resolution paper.
Lindner said the measures were designed to help Germany achieve energy independence and efficiency, while also supporting citizens during the ongoing uncertainty. “This should show the people of this country that we can be trusted to act in this crisis,” he said.