Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck commented on the third relief package presented by the coalition today:

“The third relief package is an important response to the crisis. It is based on a fundamental principle: those who earn less receive more relief in absolute terms. In this way, the package has a targeted impact. And that is important, because, in this crisis, we must protect the democratic consensus in socio-political terms.

“This crisis has added a fresh dimension to the question of fairness. So I attach particular importance to the agreement to skim off windfall profits, coupled with a cut in electricity prices via the price cap. We will be discussing both of these on 9 September with the European energy ministers, and quickly flesh out the subject-matter. It is only fair to skim off windfall profits: energy companies which, for example, generate electricity from renewables, coal or nuclear power, do so at constantly low production costs, but are earning ridiculous amounts of money due to the current mechanisms of the European electricity market. It is right and proper to use this money to make a solidarity-based contribution to society and to put it into cutting electricity prices and curbing grid charges: by skimming off the windfall profits, we can introduce a cap on electricity prices for households. Specifically, this means that consumers will pay a stable price for a certain basic level of consumption. This will ease the financial burden on the households whilst maintaining an incentive to conserve energy.

“There will be a similar model for small and medium-sized enterprises. And, of course, we need to continue to stabilise the economy in this tense situation. To this end, we will give even greater support to those companies which are particularly badly hit by the high energy prices. At the same time, the existing measures under the current bail-out system will be extended until the end of the year and broadened in scope.”