Rising energy prices: pensioners as losers in energy relief?

Rising energy prices
Pensioners as losers in energy relief?

People with small pensions are particularly dependent on money. Photo: Jens Wolf/zb/dpa

© dpa-infocom GmbH

Pensions are rising sharply this year – but does that compensate for the sharp rise in energy prices? Criticism of the coalition’s plans is increasing.

Against the background of sharply increased energy prices, many pensioners threaten to get nothing from a planned relief step – that’s why the pressure on the traffic light coalition is now increasing.

Social organizations and economists have called on the federal government that the planned energy price flat rate of 300 euros should also apply to pensioners. The president of the social association VdK, Verena Bentele, said on Friday in Berlin that the coalition was once again forgetting the pensioners when it came to the lump sum.

“Senior citizens with small pensions are particularly dependent on money because at the end of the month they no longer know how to make ends meet,” says Bentele. “The price increases are a big problem for these people.” That’s why the VdK demands a surcharge on the pension of 300 euros, which is paid out directly.

The heads of the economic research institutes DIW and IW told the “Rheinische Post” that the energy price flat rate should not only be given to employed people. «The energy flat rate is a very good instrument. However, it should not only benefit employees, but all people, »said the head of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), Marcel Fratzscher. The lump sum must also be increased significantly. “Because over the next two years, the additional energy costs for most people will exceed the 300 euros many times over.” The head of the Institute of German Economics, Michael Hüther, said: “There is no reason to exclude pensioner households.”

Open letter to the chairmen of the traffic light parties

The President of the Social Association Germany, Adolf Bauer, had already pointed out immediately after the resolutions that the energy flat rate should only benefit taxpayers. “That excludes the vast majority of pensioners,” said an open letter to the chairmen of the traffic light parties and federal ministers. This is a “big gap” that is not acceptable.

The pension policy spokesman for the Greens parliamentary group, Markus Kurth, told the dpa on Friday that it was indeed very regrettable that pensioners were not taken into account in the energy price flat rate. “Apparently there was a lot of resistance from the Ministry of Finance,” he said, referring to department head Christian Lindner (FDP).

“The coalition will not let pensioners down”

However, Kurth referred to the pension increase on July 1st. Pensions will increase by 5.35 percent in western Germany and by 6.12 percent in eastern Germany. This increase should not be “played down” despite the high inflation. Kurth also mentioned the temporary reduction in the energy tax on fuel and the drastic reduction in ticket prices for public transport for three months.

The FDP representative Christoph Meyer said that pensioners would also benefit from the reduction in energy tax on fuel and the 9-euro monthly ticket. He also referred to the strong increase in pensions. The coalition will not let the pensioners down.

In a first relief package, the coalition had already decided that the EEG levy to promote green electricity via the electricity bill would be abolished in the summer – pensioners would also benefit from this. However, the Institute for Macroeconomics and Business Cycle Research (IMK) of the Hans Böckler Foundation, which is close to the trade union, came to the conclusion in a study that only a small part of the additional expenditure caused by energy prices was compensated for by the state for pensioners. The rising pensions would not compensate for the increased prices. It should also be noted that pensions did not increase last year.


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