SMEs are pushing for the gas levy to be abolished

SMEs are pushing for the gas levy to be abolished

Berlin The federal manager of the Federal Association of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (BVMW), Markus Jerger, is pushing for the gas surcharge to be dispensed with because of the energy crisis. “We have repeatedly listed the various shortcomings of the introduction of a gas levy, particularly from the point of view of medium-sized companies,” Jerger told the Handelsblatt.

At the same time he welcomed the fact that Federal Minister of Finance Christian Lindner (FDP) has questioned the levy. According to the assessment of SPDmanagement is about to end the planned gas allocation. Party leader Saskia Esken said in ARD-Television, she firmly believes that the end of the measure will come this week. Jerger said: “Finally, the federal government seems to be coming to terms with the fact that such an instrument does more harm than good.”

After Economy Minister Robert Habeck (green) had already expressed legal doubts about the gas levy designed by his ministry, Lindner now also expressed economic concerns on Sunday. “It’s less a question of law when it comes to the gas levy, but more and more of a question of economic meaning,” he told the “Bild am Sonntag”.

Gas levy: Christian Lindner doubts the economic sense

Instead, Lindner brought a gas price brake into play. “Until the gas price falls again, the state must build a bridge for consumers and the economy through this crisis,” the minister told the Handelsblatt. The gas price brake must be about cushioning the price peaks on the gas market as a whole.

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Habeck only indirectly responded to Lindner’s statements on Sunday: You have to muster all the state’s financial strength to lead the economy through the crisis and to ensure social cohesion, he said. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) was evasive, but at the same time announced proposals for the future of the gas levy that a commission is currently working on: “We will be able to expect quick results,” said Scholz on Sunday.

Budget politician: “Financing of the gas surcharge from general budget funds is possible in an emergency situation like this”

BVMW Federal Managing Director Jerger warned that “reason in the political discussion” must now quickly move in. “The price of gas must come down and not be artificially inflated,” he said. “Nobody can be explained why consumers should pay for a company that will soon be nationalized,” added Jerger, with a view to the planned nationalization of the large gas importer Uniper added.

Businesses and households in the country needed affordable gas. Many medium-sized companies and households are already up to their necks in water. “More and more sectors are therefore resigned and disappointed by the lack of orientation on the part of many politicians,” said Jerger.

>> Read also: Rivals in the cabinet: why the dispute between Habeck and Lindner is escalating

Jerger was open to a further suspension of the debt brake. “The German economy must survive this unprecedented endurance test of the energy price crisis and emerge stronger from it,” said Jerger. “If this requires a further year’s easing of the debt brake for a limited period of time, we will support this.”


The Greens budget politician Sven-Christian Kindler meanwhile pointed out with regard to the gas levy that the nationalization of Uniper now asked “relevant financial constitutional questions”. The responsible Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of the Interior, which is responsible for constitutional issues, are now on the train to clarify these issues properly, Kindler told the editorial network Germany (RND).

“Alternatively, financing from general budget funds is also possible in an emergency situation like this one,” Kindler said. The gas surcharge is scheduled to come into effect on October 1st.

At the same time, Kindler called for adequate aid programs instead of an austerity policy to comply with the debt brake. “A crisis is not a time to skimp. As a coalition, we will finance what is necessary and will not save ourselves even further into the recession,” said Kindler.

Greens do not rule out fourth relief package

The deputy head of the Greens parliamentary group, Andreas Audretsch, considers the relief packages that have been decided so far to be insufficient. When asked whether he thought a fourth relief package was urgently needed, Audretsch told the Handelsblatt: “We’ve got a lot going, but it would be a denial of reality to assume that it’s enough. We will initiate further relief.”

The Green politician announced an electricity price brake. “In order to finance them, we will skim off excess profits in the electricity market,” said Audretsch. In addition, a commission set up by the federal government is working on the question of a gas price cap for basic needs. “Further direct payments to citizens also remain on the table,” he added.

“At the same time, we have to defend the economic substance of our country and invest in the future,” warned Audretsch. Federal Minister of Economics Habeck has completed the support programs for medium-sized companies, industry and the service sector. Finance Minister Lindner must now make the necessary funds available.

“We need a two-digit billion amount,” said Audretsch. “It must not fail because of the money.” The same applies to hospitals and the social infrastructure. “We will not allow Putin to damage our society at its core.”

More: “I make a loss with every roll”: Journey through an entrepreneurial country at the limit

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