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No dissenting votes: Bundestag approves nine-euro ticket and fuel discount

No dissenting votes
Bundestag approves nine-euro ticket and fuel discount

With the nine-euro ticket, citizens should be able to use local transport nationwide from June to August. The financing in the Bundestag is already in place, but the last hurdle in the Bundesrat has not yet been cleared.

Traveling through Germany will be cheaper in summer: two resolutions passed in the Bundestag late Thursday evening will not only make refueling and thus driving a car cheaper for a period of three months, but also trips by bus and train – provided that the Bundesrat also votes for the 9th month on Friday -Euro-Ticket and its financing. Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz emphasized that these measures would benefit the citizens – “directly, quickly and purposefully”.

According to the plans of the SPD, Greens and FDP, there will be monthly tickets for 9 euros in June, July and August, with which people can use all buses and trains in local and regional transport throughout Germany. The loss of income is to be compensated for by the federal government – this is what the law passed by the Bundestag provides for. However, the planned subsidy of 2.5 billion euros does not go far enough for some countries, which is why the necessary approval from the Federal Council is still pending on Friday.

For the same three-month period, the Bundestag decided to reduce the energy tax on motor fuels to the minimum permitted in the EU. In the case of petrol, the tax burden is temporarily reduced by 29.55 cents per liter – including VAT even by almost 35.2 cents. With diesel, there is a minus of a good 14 cents per liter or 16.7 cents with VAT.

With these measures, the coalition is reacting to the sharp rise in energy prices in recent months. In addition, the 9-euro ticket is a “huge opportunity” for climate-friendly mobility, explained Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing at the final plenary debate. From his point of view, the project is already a success: “The whole of Germany is talking about local public transport,” said the FDP politician.

Fuel prices are expected to drop to pre-crisis levels

The opposition, on the other hand, stuck to their criticism: CDU MP Michael Donth spoke of an “expensive experiment”. He called for an “additional payment obligation” to compensate for the skyrocketing costs of bus and train companies. Wolfgang Wiehle from the AfD warned of a “failed party” at the end of which the bankruptcy of many medium-sized companies threatened. The left voted for the 9-euro ticket, but the project doesn’t actually go far enough for their long-time party leader Bernd Riexinger: “Three months is simply not enough.”

Due to the rise in fuel prices after the outbreak of the Ukraine war, taxes on petrol and diesel will also fall from June to August. “By doing so, we are reducing fuel prices to pre-crisis levels,” assured SPD MP Carlos Kasper. Till Mansmann from the FDP explained that people dependent on mobility would be relieved of more than one billion euros a month. However, the measure is controversial: Although prices at gas stations exploded after the Russian attack on Ukraine, they have since fallen noticeably again.

Nevertheless, the law passed the Bundestag without dissenting votes, the opposition factions abstained. CDU MP Johannes Steiniger said the instrument was correct, but the three-month period was too short. Even at the end of August, when the measure expires, the Ukraine crisis and the associated high petrol prices are likely to continue.

Chancellor Scholz lamented a “price increase caused by Russia”. Above all, people with low and middle incomes felt every day “that the war has not only made fuel more expensive at the pump, but also food – from bread to cooking oil”.

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