Berlin launches “support package” against price hikes

Notably, the packages include a one-off payment of €300 per person that will be disbursed to everybody with a regular income via their monthly pay. Additional payments will be granted to families with children and people dependent on social benefits. [Shutterstock/DesignRage]

The German coalition government has agreed on a €14-16 billion package to support households and businesses in the face of high energy prices.

The three governing parties reached an agreement on the package after all-night negotiations, the party leadership announced on Thursday.

Notably, the packages include a one-off payment of €300 per person that will be disbursed to everybody with a regular income via their monthly pay. Additional payments will be granted to families with children and people dependent on social benefits.

Moreover, for 90 days, public transport costs will be capped at €9 per month and fuel taxes reduced.

The measures are meant to provide relief to “people at the heart of society, in terms of transport and heating costs,” the SPD party whip, Matthias Miersch, said on public TV.

Energy and climate Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) said the package was designed with a view to the fact that improving energy efficiency, rather than subsidising fuel consumption, was vital in the current circumstances. To this end, the government wants to incentivise switching from gas heating to heat pumps.

Meanwhile, the opposition slammed the measures for not going far enough. The package is “too little, too complicated and temporary,” Markus Söder, the Bavarian conservatives (CSU) leader, said.

Meanwhile, economists said the measures are not targeted enough to be economically viable and that the fuel tax rebate incentivises consumption, which could lead to even higher prices.

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