Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) has been under massive criticism for days because of the planned gas levy from October 1st. According to a report by the “Business Insider” portal, further details are now available on how Habeck intends to save the surcharge of 2.8 cents gross.

According to information from the business magazine from government circles, companies should demonstrate an economic need for the period in which the gas levy is collected from October 2022 to March 31, 2024. It is therefore still open whether this will take place before the start of the allocation or later. Specifically, the proof of need should be based on hard business data, such as sales, profit and continuation forecast.

The exact design of the criteria is currently being worked out internally in the Ministry of Economic Affairs. This could take another week or two. But there should be a whole catalog, says a person familiar with the process “Business Insider”.

The main difficulty is therefore to choose the criteria in such a way that the de facto exclusion of some companies is legally certain. In addition, the inflow of money to needy companies must be correct under state aid law. The more companies would be excluded, the greater the state aid requirements. The proof should be relied on by auditors. The Federal Network Agency would check their certificates, but possibly only afterwards if there were any inconsistencies, as is already the case by law.

A complete stamping out of the gas levy is politically ruled out in the government. On the one hand, Uniper needs the money. The Düsseldorf group had recently applied for four billion euros in addition to the 15 billion euro rescue package from the end of July at the state development bank KfW. According to government circles, the money will only last until October – until then money from the gas levy would come.

According to information from “Business Insider”, the federal government had examined Uniper’s bankruptcy before the announcement of the first rescue package. However, the fact that 11,000 jobs at the gas giant would have been threatened should not have been the decisive factor for the aid. Rather, they feared an incalculable chain reaction, with up to 200 municipal utilities threatened with supply bottlenecks and possibly even bankruptcy.