When and how will the electricity price brake come about? The fact that we still don’t know by mid-November is a sign of failure for the Federal Ministry of Economics. And just one example of many.

“Where’s Behle?” ZDF reporter Bruno Moravetz called into his microphone at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid because cross-country skier Jochen Behle simply didn’t show up.

He was long past the camera on his way to the best time. “Where is the electricity price brake?” millions of consumers in Germany are currently asking themselves – only that there is no prospect of a best time, but a political fiasco.

The federal government is still assuming that the electricity price brake can be introduced on January 1, 2023 and that there is therefore no need for an immediate surcharge in December – unlike with gas.

This announcement “triggered a great deal of horror” among utilities, as Ingbert Liebing, General Manager of the Association of Municipal Enterprises, says.

“It is not possible to start the electricity price brake, which is just as complex as the gas and heat price brake, on January 1, 2023, i.e. two months earlier.”

Kerstin Andreae, General Manager of the Federal Association of the Energy Industry (BDEW), sees it the same way: “This planned electricity price brake cannot be achieved by January 1st.”

Consumers don’t know where they stand. And the companies also have no planning security whatsoever. The biggest problem with this mishap is that it is by far not the only one: Even the gas price brake was poorly made.

The excess profit tax not only lacks an idea of ​​how it can work: pretty much the only thing that is known for sure is that it chokes off the expansion of renewable energies. And the EU still has various issues.

To cut it all short: The traffic light coalition’s rescue policy has gotten completely tangled up: too slow, too late, incomprehensible, expensive. It’s like those Netflix shows where the hero or heroine solves one problem and two new ones arise.

It may be exciting for the viewer to follow the hustle and bustle over many seasons. In real life, citizens’ trust in the state is eroding. The government either lacked the imagination or the will to think about the long-term consequences of short-term bailout ideas.

The traffic light coalition is characterized by a hubris that the state can regulate everything. But he can’t, if only because of the limitations in the technical implementation, including the lack of digitization of our authorities.

In addition, there was a lack of practical knowledge in the ministries, some of which were newly appointed, as to what the companies involved in the implementation can and cannot do. The motto for the Germany of the year 2022 is: A country overestimates itself.

For months, the ministers have been overloading their employees, but above all the local authorities and private organizations, with overly complex bureaucratic monsters.

Every good entrepreneur knows: If I don’t have the people or the time for complicated solutions, I just make it as simple as possible. In the case of the federal government, there is also the fact that the ministries are anything but green with one another.

Politicians act according to their expectations, which resonates well with voters. So far okay. The art is to superimpose this with what is feasible and to find a compromise.

Instead, the ministers and parties fought a competition “Who saves the best”. It would have been far better to let the market run its course.

And to help the people who need it when the prices rise too much. That would have involved some tough and unpopular decisions, however. And that’s the price that was really too high for some.

The article “The rescue policy of the traffic light coalition has become completely tangled” comes from WirtschaftsKurier.