Germany unveils fuel subsidies, discounted public transport

Associated Press

Berlin — The Germany government has announced a package of measures to help cushion the blow of high energy prices for consumers, with fuel subsidies, discounted public transport, tax benefits and additional support for the poorest.

Senior lawmakers unveiled the measures Thursday after lengthy haggling between the three parties that make up the center-left governing coalition.

Rising energy costs due to the war in Ukraine and sanctions imposed on Russia have caused significant price pain for companies and consumers across Europe in recent months.

A tram drives out of the city with the European Central Bank in background in Frankfurt, Germany, Wednesday, May 19, 2021.

The measures announced include temporary tax cuts on gasoline, a one-off 300-euro ($330) payment to all taxpayers, 100 euros for each child and a further 100 euros for people on benefits.

A special 90-day ticket to use public transport in Germany will be made available for 9 euros ($9.90), lawmakers said.

The government also agreed to launch a large-scale program to replace old gas and oil furnaces with electricity-powered heat pumps.

Ricarda Lang, co-leader of the Green party that’s part of the government, called the measures an “independence on energy policy.”

The environmental group Germanwatch welcomed the measures but urged the government to swiftly approve a plan that would see all citizens receive “climate money” funded from carbon taxes on emissions.