According to a report, Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) questions the planned gas levy. According to “Bild am Sonntag”, Lindner does not consider the associated additional costs to be sensible given the economic situation.
“In the case of the gas levy, I am less concerned with the legal question, but more and more with the question of economic sense,” Lindner told the newspaper.
“We have a gas surcharge that increases the price. But we need a gas price brake that lowers the price,” Lindner said. However, a gas price brake must “quickly help everyone in an economy”.
According to the report, the Finance Minister intends to stick to the debt brake despite the foreseeable additional expenditure: “A gas price brake must be combined with long-term stable public finances. The debt brake for the federal budget is in place,” he emphasized. As a condition, Lindner named a “combination with measures such as the extension of nuclear energy” “so that we have the best effect”.
According to the report, Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) also reiterated his concerns. According to information from “Bild am Sonntag”, he sent a first draft law on the gas levy to all cabinet members on Wednesday, but his ministry presented it directly in the accompanying letter “subject to the financial constitutional review” by the Ministry of Finance and referred to possible alternatives – that would be either direct state aid to the ailing gas suppliers or taking over the additional costs of gas importers from budget funds, namely in “a magnitude in the mid double-digit billion range”.
With the gas surcharge, which is to be levied from October, importers who have to buy expensively elsewhere because of failed Russian deliveries should be able to pass on these additional costs. After the nationalization of the natural gas supplier Uniper, SPD leader Lars Klingbeil also questioned the gas surcharge.