High inflation is massively reducing the budgets of many Germans. After all, some consumers will benefit from pension increases, more child benefits or the gas price brake from next year. That cushions the high additional expenses at least somewhat. FOCUS online shows what that means for you.

Consumers groan under rising prices. The federal government is trying to counteract this: a lot of money will flow into relief for citizens in the coming year, especially in view of the high energy prices. Among other things, taxes will be reduced for 48 million people.

In addition, there is a housing benefit reform and the electricity price brake. In addition, child benefit is increasing, while meanwhile pensions are to be raised as usual.

Who can hope for more money from 2023 – an overview:

Families can expect more child benefits in the coming year than previously planned. The traffic light groups agreed to increase state support to 250 euros per month on January 1st. That would be 31 euros more than before for the first two children.

Today, the child benefit is 219 euros for the first and second child. There is 225 euros for the third child and 250 euros for the fourth and each additional child.

On January 1, 2023, the federal government wants to introduce the new citizens’ income. The basic security for the unemployed should then replace the previous Hartz IV benefits. The aim of the red-green-yellow federal government is to put those affected in a position to be able to concentrate more on further training and looking for work. They should be put under less pressure by the job center during a so-called waiting period – a kind of closed period with milder regulations. The standard rates of basic security should also increase by around 50 euros per month.

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The Bundestag has already decided on the new citizens’ income. However, the vote in the Bundesrat is still to come – and trouble is looming here. A number of Union politicians have sharply criticized the plans of Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD).

The next Federal Council meeting, where the topic will most likely be on the agenda, is scheduled for November 25th. Should there be a blockage there, the mediation committee would have to decide on the future of the project. A compromise negotiated there would then have to be decided again by the Bundestag and Bundesrat. It is therefore still questionable whether the citizens’ income can actually start on January 1st.

The sharp increase in energy costs hits citizens with low incomes particularly hard, as housing and heating costs make up a large proportion of their expenses. With the housing benefit reform, significantly more people should be entitled to housing benefit from January 1, 2023 – two million households instead of around 600,000 as before.

In addition, the amount of housing benefit is to be increased by an average of around 190 euros per month from 2023 with the reform. That means a doubling of the housing allowance. It increases from an average of around 180 euros per month (without reform) to around 370 euros per month. After the Bundestag has already passed the law, the Bundesrat still has to approve it.

Good to know: Anyone who was also entitled to housing benefit for at least one month in the period from September 1 to December 31, 2022 should receive an additional heating cost subsidy this year. For recipients of housing benefit who live alone, this is a one-time fee of 415 euros. A two-person household gets 540 euros, for each additional person there is an additional 100 euros. A flat rate of 345 euros is paid to students and trainees who receive student loans or other state support.

Previously, tenants had to pay for the CO2 tax for heating alone. But after weeks of wrangling and renewed adjustments, the traffic light coalition has agreed that from January 1, 2023 there should be a cost allocation between tenants and landlords. The traffic light coalition wants to introduce a tiered model for dividing the costs between tenants and landlords. The principle works like this: the more inefficiently a building consumes energy, the higher the landlord’s share.

For houses with very high greenhouse gas emissions per square meter, landlords should therefore pay 95 percent of the CO2 price, with very low emissions tenants would have to bear the costs themselves. This should encourage landlords and landlords to make energy-efficient renovations and tenants to save energy. The construction policy spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group, Bernhard Daldrup, said that the new regulation considers the costs across all efficiency classes and will in future distribute 50-50 between tenants and landlords.

The comparison portal Check 24 has also calculated how great the relief for tenants will be in the coming year:

More on the topic: This is how much the traffic light will relieve millions of tenants from 2023 on the CO2 price

The approximately 21 million pensioners in Germany can count on more money in the coming year. According to an official estimate, statutory pensions are due in July

climb. The expected increase in 2023 means a plus of for a pension of 1000 euros

This emerges from the draft of the pension insurance report 2022.

But beware: the pension increase is not good news for everyone. Because tens of thousands of pensioners are only now liable to pay taxes as a result of the increase. They are then obliged to pay taxes as soon as their income exceeds the annual allowance of 10,347 euros (as of 2022). That could happen with the increase. All income counts for the tax-free amount, in addition to the statutory pension insurance as well as private provision or rental income.

48 million taxpayers benefit from the fact that the negative effects of high inflation are offset in income taxes. For the new year, the Federal Ministry of Finance and the traffic light coalition have decided on a number of changes. An overview:

However, at the same time the contributions to health insurance, pension and unemployment insurance will increase: the additional contribution for the statutory health insurance on average from 1.3 to 1.6 percent of gross income. Employees bear half of this, so your contributions increase from 0.65 to 0.8 percent. The contribution for pension insurance increases by 0.1 to 18.7 percent, for unemployment insurance by 0.1 to 2.6 percent.

If you want to delve deeper into the topic, read: “You will have so much more net money in your account in 2023”

The gas price brake is to come in the coming year. According to the federal government, the relief should take effect by March 1, 2023 at the latest. The federal government is also examining retrospective relief as of February 1, 2023. The price brake will apply until April 2024.

As can be seen from the resolution paper of the federal-state round, households and smaller companies are to receive a guaranteed gross gas price of 12 cents per kilowatt hour for 80 percent of their current consumption. The contract price should apply to the remaining 20 percent of consumption. For district heating, the guaranteed gross price should be 9.5 cents.

The annual consumption forecast from the advance payment for September 2022 is taken as the basis for the annual consumption. If consumption exceeds 80 percent of the previous year’s consumption, consumers pay the expensive market price on the excess. Conversely, this also means: if you use less, you even get money out of it. This should give an incentive to save energy.

An electricity price brake from January 2023 should also help to reduce electricity costs overall. The electricity price for private consumers and small and medium-sized companies is therefore capped at 40 cents per kilowatt hour. This applies to the basic requirement of 80 percent of the previous year’s consumption.

According to the comparison portal Verivox, the nationwide electricity price at the beginning of November averaged 48.16 cents per kilowatt hour. For a three-person household with an annual consumption of 4000 kilowatt hours, the current annual costs would be around 1926 euros per year on this basis. With the planned cap, the total annual costs would fall by around 14 percent to 1665 euros. That corresponds to a relief of around 260 euros per year, according to Verivox.