In view of rising energy costs, the traffic light coalition wants to launch a third relief package. This should also include a housing benefit reform. In the program "Hart aber fair" FDP parliamentary group leader Dürr announced that more people could benefit from it.
FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr has announced the payment of housing benefits to more people. The traffic light coalition is currently discussing this, he said on Monday evening on the ARD program "Hart aber fair". "Our goal is that we can do this by January 1st," said the FDP politician. Then more people would also benefit from the already expanded heating cost subsidy, which is paid with the housing benefit. From which salary and at which rent the aid is currently paid differs depending on the federal state. More information is available here.
According to Dürr, it is also important to do something for people with low and middle incomes. "We also have to talk about the people who are in the workforce," says Dürr. Another goal is "to make amends for this messed up energy transition". Therefore, in the next few weeks, there should also be talk about extending the life of nuclear power plants - which Dürr advocated.
At the same time, the FDP parliamentary group leader justified the reduction in the VAT rate for the gas levy. He would have wished that the EU Commission had waived the imposition of VAT on the levy in the current crisis. She did not do that because this step violates European law. That's why the government had to act. "We are in an exceptional situation. It would have been wrong to do nothing."
Dürr criticized FDP Vice Wolfgang Kubicki's demand for the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline to be opened. "There is no lack of pipeline capacity. Nord Stream 1 could bring enough gas to Germany," said Dürr. However, Russian President Putin is using "war extortion" when he reduces the flow of gas through Nord Stream 1.
The other guests on the program also dealt, among other things, with the opening of the pipeline, the commissioning of which has been on hold since the Russian attack on Ukraine in February. Left faction leader Amira Mohamed Ali can imagine opening Nord Stream 2 in an emergency, if Putin is only willing to continue supplying gas to Germany under these circumstances. For Michael Hueter from the German Economic Institute, however, using the pipeline is out of the question. In such a case, the countries of the European Union would have committed themselves to mutual aid.
Finally, Mohamed Ali reaffirmed her party's will to hold Monday demonstrations in East Germany. She does not see the fact that Pegida and right-wing parties use this day for demonstrations as an obstacle. However, she could also imagine another day for the left-wing demonstrations - "if you name me another day".
(This article was first published on Tuesday, August 23, 2022.)