Thursday October 14, 2021
More money because of inflation?
Verdi insists on “significantly” higher wages
Life has also become more expensive because of inflation. Higher costs for food, heating and fuel particularly affect people with low incomes, so they should get more money, say several associations. Meanwhile, SPD leader Walter-Borjans warns against scare tactics.
The 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 (RND).
The consumer advice centers take a similar point of view. People with lower incomes in particular should be protected quickly. In the short term, an increase in the housing benefit should be prepared, “so that nobody has to freeze this winter,” said the head of the Federal Association (VZBV), Klaus Müller. In addition, electricity and gas bans should be suspended, which could threaten defaulting payments. The federal government that is still in office is “very well in a position to prepare things” that the new government could decide upon immediately after the election of the chancellor.
The concern about the “additional costs explosion”
The next government must also accelerate the expansion of renewable energies, energy-saving building renovation and the switch to electromobility, said Müller. “Politicians must set a framework so that our economy can decouple itself from fossil fuels as quickly as possible and consumers have climate-friendly alternatives at their disposal.”
The VZBV boss said that the paper was nothing new about the EU Commission’s latest proposals against high energy prices. The commission does nothing else than pass the ball back to the nation states. In a “tool kit” for EU countries presented on Wednesday, the Brussels authority proposes, among other things, direct payments, tax breaks and subsidies for small companies. It is also considering medium-term reforms to make the European energy market more robust.
The tenants’ association is also calling for relief for low-income households. “Without countermeasures by the new government, there is a risk of ancillary costs explosion,” said Melanie Weber-Moritz, federal director of the tenants’ association, of the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”. Together with the VZBV, the tenants’ association submitted a position paper in which, according to the FAZ, both are calling for lower electricity prices in particular.
Isn’t inflation just a “zigzag” movement?
Meanwhile, the SPD chairman, Norbert Walter-Borjans, warned against panic-mongering. “If scare tactics are carried out with the uncertainty, it is simply irresponsible,” said Walter-Borjans to the RND. A year ago, the energy prices fell very sharply due to Corona, now the increase is all the more steep – “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 households in Germany with full force,” said Linnemann to the RND. With low interest rates this is “a cold expropriation of savers”.