Finance Minister Christian Lindner expects the planned price brakes for electricity and gas to cost around 83 billion euros next year. That's according to the economic plan for the 200-billion-euro special fund, which the German Press Agency has received together with the revised draft budget for 2023. The 200 billion euros for cushioning the high energy prices are to be sufficient until 2024, but the finance minister is already planning more than half of this for the coming year. Of this, around 15 billion euros will be used for the investment in the ailing utility Uniper.
With the draft, the FDP politician also proposes to the Bundestag to spend around 153 million euros more than planned on integration courses for Ukrainian refugees. In addition, around EUR140 million more is earmarked for crude oil supplies to the PCK Schwedt refinery, which is important for northeast Germany.
Numerous relief measures that have already been decided, such as the heating cost subsidy and the housing subsidy reform with additional costs of 2.2 billion euros alone, also make an appearance. The decision not to allow the CO2 price to rise next year will also cost the federal government around 2 billion euros, according to the draft.
How much debt Lindner is allowed and willing to take on in the coming year despite the debt brake is not clear from the draft. However, it is foreseeable that more loans will be permitted than previously thought because of the poor economic outlook. In return, however, Lindner will have to reckon with more spending. According to the finance minister, interest payments on old loans alone are likely to add up to 38 billion euros.
Image by Ashraf Chemban