German government tackles soaring energy prices | Investment News


FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German ministries are stepping up efforts to help consumers hit by soaring wholesale energy prices that are beginning to hurt low-income households, two politicians told Reuters at the weekend.

Like many countries, Germany has experienced historically high energy prices and related European carbon permits that were triggered by the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions and the resulting demand on inventory. exhausted gases.

“We are working hard on solutions for the households that are now in difficulty,” said center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) General Secretary Kevin Kuehnert in remarks released for publication. Sunday.

“Our promise has always been to protect especially people on tight budgets who suddenly find themselves taken aback by social and global developments,” he added.

The government would prefer “unbureaucratic and careful” solutions tailored to individual needs, Kuehnert said.

The coalition government was sworn in last month under SPD Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and also includes the pro-spending environmental Greens and the more fiscally conservative libertarian Free Democrats (FDP).

A newly installed federal construction ministry has yet to deliver one-time heating assistance payments promised in the coalition agreement to help a few hundred thousand households receiving housing allowances.

Finance Minister Christian Lindner of the FDP promised on Thursday to make the corresponding funding available.

Households fully dependent on income support (Hartz-IV) are fully reimbursed for their heating costs.

Half of German households heat with gas and a quarter with oil.

On electricity and gas, Environment and Consumer Protection Minister Steffi Lemke told Reuters she would crack down on suppliers who tried to profit from contract expirations, competitor bankruptcies and moves.

New contracts for the latter group have doubled in price.

“Even if supply costs are rising, such horrendous price increases are not justified,” Lemke said.

(Reporting by Andreas Rinke and Vera Eckert, editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.


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