D.he chairman of the Verdi service union, Frank Werneke, calls for “clearly noticeable increases in real wages” in view of the high inflation rate. These are necessary to enable employees and their families to absorb the price increase. “Since the price jumps for food, energy and gasoline in particular affect people with lower and middle incomes, our tariff demands include minimum amounts that make the wage increases for these employees above average,” said Werneke of the editorial network Germany.
Meanwhile, the SPD chairman Norbert Walter-Borjans warned against panic-mongering. “If scare tactics are used with the uncertainty, it is simply irresponsible,” Walter-Borjans told the RND. A year ago, the energy prices fell very sharply due to Corona, now the increase is all the steeper – “together with the expired VAT reduction, understandably causes great uncertainty, even if the average price increase is much lower,” emphasized Walter-Borjans, who in the Context speaks of a “zigzag movement”.
Carsten Linnemann, deputy chairman of the CDU parliamentary group, contradicts the SPD politician. “The risk of persistently high inflation of well over two percent is high. That hits the households in Germany with full force, “said Linnemann the RND. At low interest rates this is “a cold expropriation of savers.”
People could soon be sitting in the cold
In view of the significant rise in gas prices, consumer advocates are calling for help for low-income households. “Rising prices should be cushioned by topping up the housing allowance for households with low incomes,” said Thomas Engelke from the umbrella association of the Federal Association of German newspaper Welt. “In the case of households that do not receive housing benefits, the government must do everything possible to ensure that gas bans are not imposed if payments are not made and that people are left in the cold.”
The rise in gas prices is “worrying,” Engelke told the newspaper. “Wholesale gas prices have tripled in the past twelve months. Further significant price increases can also be expected for private customers in the coming year, ”he predicts. The security of supply is also worrying.
“It is not yet clear to what extent increased wholesale prices will reach end customers,” demands the energy policy spokeswoman for the Greens in the Bundestag, Julia Verlinden of the newspaper Welt. The federal government must now clarify with the suppliers what price development can be expected from January 2022. “On this basis, politics can look where there is unreasonable hardship and where support is needed.”
The gas storage tank is only 70 percent full
According to experts, German gas storage facilities are currently 70 percent full – 90 percent is usual before the start of the heating season. The energy expert of the SPD parliamentary group, Johann Saathoff, reassured: “We don’t have to worry about supply bottlenecks in the future. The European Union is connected to large import pipelines that guarantee the supply. ”In addition, there are a large number of liquid gas terminals that can import natural gas from all over the world.
However, according to the FDP, the current stocks show a fundamental weakness in the gas supply in Germany. The fact that the storage facilities were not filled in time was a “political failure”, said the energy policy spokesman for the FDP parliamentary group, Martin Neumann, of “Welt”. “We need clear structures as to who is responsible on the part of the state and who watches over the security of supply.”
According to the paper, the organization of gas stocks is not regulated by the state, but a matter for the energy companies. The federal government rejects state intervention.