Olaf Scholz (SPD)
Photo: Tobias Schwarz / AFP
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has announced the end of the electricity and gas price brakes at the beginning of next year. This is possible because electricity and gas tariffs are available again throughout Germany, which are higher than before the crisis, but below the limits above which the price brakes take effect. Scholz said this in a government statement on the budget situation in the Bundestag. In addition, the gas storage facilities are "so well filled that we do not expect sudden price jumps".
If, however, energy prices were to rise dramatically again unexpectedly, the company would be able to "act at short notice" at any time. He reiterated that the Federal Government would continue the energy price brakes until the end of the year, despite the budget ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court. To this end, the debt brake will now be suspended again for this year.
The German government introduced the electricity and gas price brakes last year. This was intended to cushion the sharp rise in energy prices as a result of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine. The financing was provided by the Economic Stabilisation Fund (WSF), which has a budget of up to 200 billion euros. However, the judges in Karlsruhe have declared such special funds in addition to the regular budget to be inadmissible.
Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) had therefore already announced the end of the energy price brakes on Friday at the end of the year. However, this caused protest from the SPD parliamentary group, which demanded negotiations on a continuation.