Greens are demanding “water cents” from Söder before the election – Bavaria

The Greens in the state parliament are putting pressure on the state government to introduce the “water cent” announced by Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) before the state elections in autumn. Specifically, they propose a surcharge on the water price of eight cents per cubic meter, a so-called water withdrawal fee. This is intended to encourage companies in particular to save water. With corresponding applications for the final budget deliberations, the Greens want to ensure that the “water cent” comes quickly.

Söder announced the additional levy, which according to the Greens already exists in 13 out of 16 federal states, in a government statement on climate protection in 2021. However, nothing has happened since then. And now it looks like the project will be postponed further.

Environment Minister Thorsten Faithr (free voters) recently said in the environment committee in the state parliament that he also wanted the “water cent”. But in view of the increased energy and electricity costs, this will now be a project for the coming legislative period.

The Greens, on the other hand, call for immediate action – and point to the increasingly serious groundwater problems in parts of Bavaria. In parts of Franconia in particular, the groundwater levels continue to fall. Therefore more water must be saved. “Without a water withdrawal fee, there is no reason for companies to use water sparingly,” said parliamentary group leader Ludwig Hartmann on Monday in Munich. According to the Greens, an additional levy of eight cents – for comparison: in Baden-Württemberg it is ten cents – would flush around 100 million euros a year into the budget in the future. In addition, the Greens want to give geothermal energy in Bavaria new impetus: A guarantee program worth 100 million euros is intended to financially secure municipalities during test drilling.

In education policy, the Greens are calling for a “school budget” – in the fight against the many cancellations of lessons: schools should receive money with which they can temporarily provide replacements on site. As an example, parliamentary group leader Katharina Schulze named trainers from sports clubs or adult education center lecturers. With 47 million euros, the Greens want to finance free lunch for all primary school children in Bavaria.

They are also demanding half a billion euros for the municipalities to support the accommodation and integration of refugees. Overall, the Greens would take around 1.1 billion euros from the state reserve to finance their additional demands, as budget spokeswoman Claudia Köhler said. What is needed now is a budget that sets the course for the future.

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