Federal Council approves relief for gas customers

Manuela Schwesig

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s Prime Minister said the decision was an “important relief step”.

(Photo: dpa)

Berlin Of the Federal Council paved the way for the one-off emergency aid for gas and district heating customers worth billions. In a special session on Monday, the chamber of states refrained from calling the mediation committee on the law passed by the Bundestag last week. With that it is approved.

The emergency aid is intended as a bridging until the gas price brake takes effect, which should be the case next March. However, the federal government is considering moving it forward to February. The federal government expects costs of nine billion euros.

It is planned that so-called final consumers of pipeline-bound natural gas and heat customers will be exempted from the December down payment. This applies, for example, to the sole owner of a single house who has a direct gas supply contract with a supplier, but also to small and medium-sized companies. The relief amount should be credited.

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig (SPD) said it was “very important news” for the citizens that emergency aid was being launched. “This is an important relief step, a very pragmatic help.”

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However, the federal government must also clarify this week as to when the gas price brake will apply and what that means for the months of January and February.

The Federal Council should be able to decide on the second part of the gas price brake in December

The Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Economics, Michael Kellner, promised that the government would bring all the proposals to the cabinet and the Bundestag in November.

After the Federal Council decision on the first part of the so-called gas price brake, details on the second part of the aid program initially remain open. It is an “extremely complex legislative process,” said deputy government spokeswoman Christiane Hoffmann on Monday in Berlin. Therefore, the topic will probably no longer be dealt with by the Federal Cabinet this week.

>> Read here: Emergency gas aid not for everyone? Who could go away empty-handed

However, she announced that the procedure would be completed by the end of this month, so that the Federal Council can make a decision in December.

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