Bargain ticket: successor to the 9-euro ticket: the will is there – but the financing is controversial

The 9-euro ticket is still valid in Germany for a good three weeks.

Bargain ticket: successor to the 9-euro ticket: the will is there – but the financing is controversial

The 9-euro ticket is still valid in Germany for a good three weeks. Since June, it has been a good opportunity for many to drive through Germany for little money or to use it to commute to work. Therefore, many in politics want to extend it further. But the federal and state governments are fighting for the successor to the cheap ticket, which was introduced to relieve people in Germany in the face of rising prices.

The biggest bone of contention is still the financing of a connection solution. Bavaria, for example, insists that the federal government alone bears the costs for the follow-up offer in local and regional transport.

Bavaria's Transport Minister Christian Bernreiter (CSU) told the German Press Agency on Saturday that "in this extraordinary situation, the federal government must ensure further relief for the citizens - and exclusively the federal government". After all, the states have already paid for a number of relief measures by the federal government, "although they have not initiated them".

The chairwoman of the conference of transport ministers, Maike Schaefer (Greens), had previously stated that the federal states were willing to co-finance a follow-up offer to the 9-euro ticket. However, a prerequisite for such a decision would be facts that Federal Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) has so far failed to provide, said the Bremen mobility senator to the editorial network Germany (RND).

The federal government is financing the campaign with 2.5 billion euros to compensate for loss of income at transport companies - in addition to the regular 9.4 billion euros in "regionalization funds" this year, with which states and associations order transport services from providers. In addition, there is another billion from another pot. The federal states are generally demanding more federal money for public transport.

There are already several suggestions for a successor to the 9-euro ticket: a 365-euro annual ticket or monthly tickets for 29, 49 or 69 euros. The Greens propose a regional ticket for 29 euros and a nationwide public transport ticket for 49 euros before.

Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) missed hopes for a continuation ticket but a damper. He said in the "Augsburger Allgemeine" (Monday) that there were no funds available in the financial planning for a continuation of the 9-euro ticket. Every euro would have to be mobilized elsewhere through cuts.

Wissing is open to a successor plan. According to his ministry, however, the willingness of the federal states to participate financially is a decisive factor.

In the federal states, there is a high level of willingness to replace the saver ticket. North Rhine-Westphalia's Transport Minister Oliver Krischer (Greens) told the "Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung" that "we are ready to talk about a short-term extension and a permanent successor plan". Thuringia's Transport Minister Susanna Karawanskij (left) said that almost half of the citizens used the 9-euro ticket. "This is a strong signal to continue the offer nationwide." What is needed is "a real climate ticket that also relieves private wallets - for example as a year-round 365-euro ticket".

However, the SPD parliamentary group insists on a share of the costs from the federal states. It must be clear that the federal government alone cannot take over the financing, said the deputy chairman of the parliamentary group, Detlef Müller, of the DPA. "In addition, it must be ensured that the necessary stabilization of operations as a result of cost increases and the expansion of the public transport offer must not be neglected." To finance the federal share, "a reduction or reduction of climate-damaging subsidies in the area of ​​road traffic is a viable way".

The left wants to keep the 9-euro ticket running until the end of the year. "From 2023 you could go to a one-euro ticket per day," said party leader Martin Schirdewan of the Düsseldorf "Rheinische Post" and the Bonn "General-Anzeiger" (both Monday). "Our strategic goal remains free public transport for all citizens." Money for this could be collected in the short term through a so-called excess profit tax, which is aimed at companies' profits that are considered excessive.

The Greens have made the proposal to abolish the flat-rate taxation of company cars in order to finance a successor to the 9-euro ticket. "It's left-wing polemics to describe the flat-rate taxation of a company car as a privilege, because above all it's a tax simplification," said Lindner of the DPA, who opposed the proposal. The Greens' idea would force millions of citizens to keep a logbook without the bottom line resulting in additional revenue for the state. Studies have shown that flat-rate taxation does not mean a tax advantage. On the other hand, there is a tax subsidy for company vehicles for e-cars. "In my opinion, however, it makes sense because it means that climate-friendly new vehicles can be added to the fleet as company cars, which will soon become good and cheap used cars," said Lindner.

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