Despite the tax cut, prices at gas stations have apparently not fallen significantly. The SPD chairman is now proposing other strategies for noticeably relieving consumers.
The SPD chairman Lars Klingbeil wants to tax “crisis and war profiteers” more heavily and has his sights set on the oil companies in particular.
“It cannot be that on the one hand the mineral oil companies fill their pockets even more in the crisis,” said Klingbeil to the newspapers of the Funke media group. “And on the other hand, hard-working people have to discuss with their families whether to cancel their summer vacation or how to finance the next tank of gas.”
In view of the relief packages worth billions, he is working intensively on the question of “how we deal with the winners of the crisis and the war, who are benefiting massively from the current situation,” said Klingbeil. “We have to use them more to finance the common good.” The SPD chairman was open to an excess profit tax to siphon off extreme crisis profits: “A tax on war and crisis profits is an instrument that is on the table and that I think is very worth considering.” Such a tax is already being used in Great Britain and Italy, and the European Commission is also in favor of it.
Prices do not fall despite tax relief
The petroleum companies are being criticized for the high fuel prices. A reduction in energy taxes on Wednesday only caused prices to drop temporarily according to the current status. Recently they had risen again in many places.
Klingbeil warned the mineral oil companies not to pass on the government-approved tax breaks for petrol and diesel to consumers. “Now we’re waiting to see whether the fuel discount that the government has decided on and has just come into force will reach consumers at the pump – or whether it will get stuck with the corporations.” There is currently no shortage of petrol and diesel. “But there is speculation by the oil companies. We won’t let them get away with it,” said Klingbeil. “Robert Habeck, as Economics Minister, has to intervene with high pressure on antitrust law.”
SPD parliamentary group leader Matthias Miersch is also pushing for stricter laws in view of the persistently high fuel prices. “We have to ask ourselves whether certain profits are not immoral,” said Miersch of the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” (Saturday). “There is a risk that profits will constantly be produced here at the expense of consumers.” In this context, Miersch referred to the Price Act of 1948, which is still valid and also allows prices to be fixed publicly. “Politicians must now consider what answers they have in addition to financial relief that will get to the root of the problem,” said Miersch. This also includes skimming off so-called excess profits.