Prices are currently rising massively, especially for food and energy. “Hard but fair” is about the question: What can politics and consumers do about it?
Berlin – With Frank Plasberg and his political talk in the first, “Hard but fair”, it will be very social this time. Under the title “Dress up warmly: How expensive should heating, fuel and food still be?”, The group will debate social policy – in view of the current rising prices in more or less all of Europe.
“Hard but fair” guest does the math: 13.2 million people in Germany live in poverty!
The general manager of the Paritätischer Gesamtverband, Ulrich Schneider, delivers a shocking number at the beginning of the program: According to Schneider, 13.2 million of the more than 80 million inhabitants of Germany are currently living in poverty. Schneider counts six million Hartz IV recipients, one million people with basic old-age security and a further six million who would be “only slightly above” with extremely low incomes or a low pension.
Plasberg is reminiscent of a teacher in front of the smartboard when he has pictures of vegetables, potatoes and eggs projected onto the studio wall to illustrate the price increase compared to the previous year. Food prices have risen by up to 17 percent, and gas prices have risen by 28 percent, Plasberg added later.
Schneider, who is also a member of the Left, sees the subsistence level undercut for millions of people and accuses: “What is planned now is unconstitutional” and demands at least an inflation adjustment and thus a much more significant increase in Hartz IV rates than last decided by the Bundestag and Bundesrat.
“Hard but fair” – these guests discussed with:
- Katarina Barley (SPD) – Vice-President of the European Parliament
- Peter Ramsauer (CSU) – Member of the Bundestag, Chairman of the Committee on Economic Cooperation and Development
- Mona Neubaur (Alliance 90 / The Greens) – State chairwoman in NRW
- Hermann-Josef Tenhagen – Editor-in-chief of the consumer guide Financial tip
- Ulrich Schneider – General manager of the joint joint association
The ex-transport minister and re-elected CSU member Peter Ramsauer shows himself to be affected by rising fuel prices, which, according to Plasberg, have already exceeded the 2-euro mark in some places. Ramsauer: “Crazy! Shocking! ”The editor-in-chief of the consumer magazine Finanztipp, Hermann-Josef Tenhagen, sees this as just the beginning:“ Energy prices will continue to rise, ”he predicts.
Green politician Mona Neubaur seems less affected. She sees the rise in prices as “the fossil fuel crisis” and the opportunity to drive the energy transition. But instead of numbers and facts, she tries hard to repeat tactics, until the moderator Frank Plasberg cuts off the word annoyed with the comment: “I’ve heard that three times …”.
Barley, too, initially jumps in on the Greens and claims fresh and free from the soul: “We know that renewable energies are significantly cheaper in the end, at the end of the day, for consumers”. Plasberg does not sound very convinced and wants to know: “When is the end of the day?” But Barley sticks to her open-ended rhetoric and predicts a “real boost” for the new red-green-yellow federal government when it comes to climate change.
Katharina Barley speaks out against the lowering of VAT on “Hart aber fair”
Tenhagen advises, in the spirit of his magazine, to be an alert consumer. Compare prices via app! Check gas station prices before refueling! In Berlin alone there are differences of up to 18 cents between autobahn gas stations and those in the city area. Tenhagen: “These gas station operators take it from the living, you have to score a point!” He also advises all consumers to compare gas regularly and, if in doubt, to switch: “There are gamblers at work.” That doesn’t convince Schneider at all. He comments dryly: “We will not save our environmental problems with such an app.”
Plasberg lets a viewer have a say in a single player. He proposes lowering VAT. Schneider is skeptical: That was what they did during the Corona period, the value added tax was lowered, but in very few cases the savings reached the end customers. Barley is also against measures with the “watering can” and Schneider nods: “Then the lobster, the oyster and the vintage sparkling wine would be relieved just as much as the can of sardines and the bottle of beer!” He thinks that is “obscure”. Green politician Neubaur also thinks: “Anyone who seriously demands this must also answer who then pays the police officer and teacher.”
Inflation and countermeasures: CSU man Ramsauer rumbles against Italy: “… damn debtor country!”
Plasberg still does not give up, shows in a single player how the EU neighbors Italy, Spain and France are doing: lower sales tax, cut electricity sales tax in half, state cap on gas prices. Now Ramsauer counters: “These are the right countries!”, He comments cynically and calls them “Mediterranean debtor states”.
When Plasberg introduces the sentence: “Learning from Italy means…” Ramsauer adds: “Learning from a damned debtor country!” The Bavarian is angry: “They all speculate that if this new government comes about, then the debts will be in Europe communitized, and the Germans will already pay. Not with me! That is irresponsible! “European politician Barley rolls her eyes and admonishes:” Mr. Ramsauer! “But she also criticizes the comparative film:” That is compared to apples and pears. “In Spain the price of gas has increased fivefold. In France, the government has a kind of monopoly on gas, which cannot be transferred to Germany.
Russia and Putin topic at “Hard but fair” – spontaneous GroKo defends Nord Stream
“Does anyone actually want to talk about Mr. Putin? Is Russia currently deliberately supplying less gas? ”Plasberg moves on to the next topic. The Green politician Neubaur thinks: Yes. He wanted to exert pressure to start Nord Stream 2. Ramsauer disagrees: “It is completely new to me that Putin has gone among the gas traders,” he comments cynically again. Gazprom must also be completely crazy to double its capacity with the construction of Nord Stream and then want to deliver less.
SPD Ms. Barley also considers the excitement over Nord Stream 2 to be inappropriate and emphasizes: “Since the Second World War, Russia has always delivered reliable energy.” : ‘Are we going to stop that?’ ”And Ramsauer adds,“ Is fracking gas from the USA better than gas from Russia? ”
Conclusion of the “hard but fair” talk
“Life is beautiful, you just have to be able to afford it!” Comments Frank Plasberg himself on his show. “The topic was good, you just have to be able to conduct it,” he could have said at the end. The program sometimes looks like a circle of chairs, everyone can say something, there is plenty of information, including ideas, but it does not seem purposeful. In the end, the viewer isn’t smarter either.