Minister Geywitz’s plans: At least 135 euros for heating costs

Status: 10.01.2022 6:28 p.m.

Gas and oil prices have skyrocketed – some low-income households may hesitate to turn up the heating. Housing Minister Geywitz wants to prevent this with a grant. Criticism comes from consumer advocates.

Because of the high heating costs, recipients of housing benefit should receive a one-time grant of at least 135 euros. This emerges from a bill by the new housing ministry, which was sent to countries and associations and from which several news agencies quote. Those who live alone should receive 135 euros, a two-person household 175 euros. For each additional roommate a further 35 euros are provided.

The Ampel-Coalition decided on the grant after heating costs rose rapidly in the autumn. “In this way, living and heating should remain affordable and the additional costs from the cold winter months should be absorbed,” says a key point paper from the ministry. The lump sum is part of the housing benefit paid to low-income households.

According to the key point paper, the amount of the grant was empirically derived on the basis of simulation calculations by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research. The heating costs of the housing benefit households from 2020 have been extrapolated with the expected price increases.

Consumer advice center: grant too low

Consumer advocates consider the grant to be “clearly too low”. “135 euros for individuals and 175 euros for a two-person household for the entire heating period of 2021/2022 were not enough for many households to compensate for the sharp rise in heating costs,” said the chief executive of the Federation of German Consumer Organizations, Klaus Müller.

Some of the households affected are also expected to receive high bills during the heating season. The federal association is calling for unbureaucratic emergency aid for these households.

A total of around 710,000 households should benefit from the one-time grant. To do this, you must have received or are receiving housing benefit for at least one month during the heating phase between October 2021 and March 2022. In total, the aid is expected to cost the federal government around 130 million euros.

Draft in the cabinet at the end of January

Housing Minister Klara Geywitz (SPD) had announced that the subsidy should be paid out in the summer – before the utility bill with the heating costs for the winter lands in the mailbox. With this billing, often not only high back payments are to be expected. At the same time, the monthly advance payment will also increase for many households.

The grant is intended to cushion this burden, according to the draft, which was decided in the cabinet at the end of January and will then be introduced into the Bundestag via the government parliamentary groups. The money should not be counted towards other social benefits.

In the past few months, energy prices have exploded – especially for oil and gas, which are used for heating. According to the comparison portal Verivox, energy has increased in price by 35 percent within a year. “Never before have private households had to pay so much for heating, electricity and fuel,” it said. According to Check24, more than 900 gas suppliers have implemented or announced price increases in the basic supply of an average of around 34 percent.

Reference-www.tagesschau.de

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