Relief package, injection surcharge, next relief package – what else will people like? Definitely more expenses than income and a lot of bureaucracy. It is not a relief, but a burden, even if the government trio with Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Finance Minister Christian Lindner and Economics Minister Robert Hebek are currently trying to overcome the energy crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine. . as best they can. However, the success is moderate. If these three had been on the board of a company, the board of directors and disgruntled customers might have caused their departure by now.
Because these days three topics are coming together that are causing outrage among everyone: On Monday it will be clear how high the so-called gas levy will be, i.e. the energy suppliers will charge their customers for the long-term additional payment and vice versa for the long-term supply contracts because they do it themselves , can no longer raise money for increasingly expensive gas.
A few days later, workers and employees from the second aid package will receive a gross wage increase of 300 euros, including a payslip for September. Finally, since the government knows that one will not outperform the other, concrete steps are planned ahead. The third aid package was announced next week.
Gas surcharge: Amount will be decided on Monday
But one after anonther. Russia’s war against Ukraine is disrupting energy markets. “Russia uses energy as a weapon and is not a reliable energy supplier,” says Habek’s Ministry of Economy. Russian suppliers have been delivering less gas than agreed since mid-June. Gas importers have to look for replacements and compensate for supply failures at higher prices.
Due to contractual regulations, they often cannot pass on the additional costs to the customer. This incurs considerable losses for the gas importers concerned, some of which can no longer be covered. For this reason, Unipar has already been selected by the state as a defense candidate, since otherwise the security of supply would be in question. The hastily amended Energy Security Act now creates the possibility of passing on the additional costs incurred when purchasing replacement gas to the gas consumer via levies.
The monthly surcharge is to be levied on all gas consumers from October 1, 2022 and is expected to end on April 1, 2024. The amount of the surcharge will be announced on Monday. The Ministry of Economics is already warning: “The financial burden of the levy is considerable. Families face additional costs of several hundred euros.”
An energy flat rate of 300 euros is a bureaucracy monster
So in May, before the gas surcharge falls on citizens, the government decided, in a politically clumsy way, to give them money, namely 300 euros for everyone who works. However, there are two downsides to this gift: The money is expensive, as most people get less than two-thirds of what actually comes. And the gift is associated with a bureaucratic effort that is second to none. On the information pages of the Ministry of Finance managed by Christian Lindner, there are now questions and implementing regulations for the distribution of monetary gifts that are getting longer every day: 64 rules that regulate those details that not everyone thought of earlier.
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For example, it is about how the self-employed get money. Now you will all receive a new, revised tax assessment for your advance payments to the tax office, which can be as little as 300 euros. If you make the final statement for the tax year 2022, you will have to tax this lower prepayment as “other income”.
Mini-jobbers get tax-free money, but only if they make a living from mini-jobs, which employers have to check. Anyone who is a maternity mother receives money, but only if she also receives maternity benefit. And anyone who is employed but works independently is given twice as a gift, but pays no taxes twice and is liable to prosecution. Such a relief boosts bureaucracy in the FDP-led finance ministry, whose boss has spoken out against any additional bureaucracy.
Another aid package is planned
Because the government suspects that this part of the second aid package will bring more trouble than happiness against the background of the upcoming gas tax, it wants to jeopardize another aid package. According to Scholz, Habeck and Lindner, this includes at least the following points: From January 1, 2023 there should be higher housing allowances for the needy. The subsidy, formerly known as Hartz IV, then called the Citizens’ Fund, is also to be increased. Tenants who cannot pay their utilities should be protected. And companies that have their backs to the wall because of energy prices can slip under the government umbrella, which promises them grants, cheap loans and guarantees. Finance Minister Lindner suggested curbing the cold progress, which sometimes increases the net loss for employees in gross wages, and the Greens would like to extend the nine-euro ticket for local transport beyond August, but don’t even know how to pay could become.
Recommended reading: Ukraine’s economy from collapsing – 4 measures to save it
The conclusion is: Daily life is becoming significantly more expensive, above all due to the energy supply initiated by a completely screwed up state. Its consequences are visible as the Russian regime has evolved from a trading partner to an energy rival.
The article “Monday shows how expensive unclean energy policy is” comes from WirtschaftsKurier.