Fuel and energy prices are at record highs. Now Germany is struggling for relief – the idea of the Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) to issue fuel vouchers is not well received.
Tank vouchers? Or leave the car at home more often? Maybe also car-free Sundays in Germany? The federal and state governments are still struggling to relieve people of the burden of refueling and heating. In view of the looming energy crisis due to the Ukraine war* and the sharply rising costs for fuel and heat*, among other things, Baden-Württemberg is calling for a more open debate on ideas and existing concepts. Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) had recently suggested relieving citizens with a fuel voucher and was criticized for this, as echo24.de * reported.
High fuel and energy prices: criticism from Baden-Württemberg of Lindner’s fuel voucher idea
Baden-Württemberg’s Deputy Prime Minister Thomas Strobl (CDU) criticized the idea of Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) as a “bureaucratic monster squared”. The federal government is already making a lot of money from VAT. “You would collect that beforehand, and afterwards you would distribute fuel vouchers at the gas stations,” said Strobl on the subject of fuel vouchers, as reported by the German Press Agency (dpa) .
Baden-Württemberg’s Minister of the Environment, Thekla Walker (Greens), did not agree with this proposal either. “I don’t think much of subsidizing refueling with the watering can,” said the Environment Minister. It makes more sense to specifically relieve low-income households. “By the way, you should not only focus on refueling, but also on the topic of heat,” Walker continued. Rising heating costs are an important problem for many people.
Incidentally, one should not only focus on refueling, but also on the topic of heat.
FDP boss Lindner, on the other hand, believes that a subsidy, according to dpa , is more effective than tax cuts for fuel. It is faster to implement and stronger discounts are possible. On the other hand, people would have to wait weeks or months longer for a fuel price brake through tax cuts because legislation in Germany and possibly also European law would have to be changed. The subsidy for refueling, on the other hand, can also be implemented without much bureaucracy.
High fuel prices in Germany: Can car-free Sundays and speed limits help?
At well over two euros per liter, fuel prices are at a record level after skyrocketing in the first two weeks of the Ukraine war – sometimes by more than ten cents a day. How else could consumption – and thus costs – be reduced?
According to the Baden-Württemberg Environment Minister Thekla Walker*, car-free Sundays could reduce fuel consumption in this country and thus reduce dependence on Russian energy imports, as echo24.de * already reported. But even a short-term speed limit on the autobahns in Germany would make a difference. For example, according to the Federal Environment Agency, a typical vehicle traveling at 90 kilometers per hour uses 23 percent less fuel over the same route than at a speed of 110 kilometers per hour. By the way: In addition to speed limits and car-free Sundays, consumers can save a lot of money with a few tricks*. echo24.de * reveals what it is in a separate article.
The fact is: There should be “no bans on thinking”, demands Walker. Germany is in a phase “where you really have to put everything on the table”. Interior Minister Thomas Strobl from the coalition partner CDU was also open to examining all measures that could have a short-term saving effect on electricity, heat or petrol and not just be limited to the fuel issue. *echo24.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA.
List of rubrics: © Stefan Sauer/dpa