Habeck shreds gas levy – "Minister trainee" in criticism

20 Sep 2022 5:55 p.m

The introduction of the gas levy announced by Economics Minister Habeck is shaky. Planned for October 1st, the surcharge will only be levied at a later date – or not at all. The nationalization of the gas importer Uniper is under discussion.

As the dpa reports, the gas levy planned by Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Die Grünen) to support troubled gas importers is wobbling.

Habeck asserts “doubts about the financial constitution,” the report says.

The closure of Nord Stream 1 has further worsened the situation for gas importer Uniper. The business model of large gas importers consists of buying large quantities cheaply via long-term contracts and reselling the gas purchased in this way to the utility companies at higher prices via futures contracts. This business model practically collapsed with the reduction in deliveries from Russia. Gas importers are forced to buy gas at much higher prices on the spot markets in order to be able to service their supply contracts – albeit at a loss. If the gas importers go bankrupt, cascading effects could lead to a supply catastrophe in Germany.

Economics Minister Habeck wanted the gas levy to ensure that the market mechanism would be maintained in the medium term, but that the gas importers would not become insolvent in the short term. This attempt failed. In the case of Uniper, the largest German gas importer, the Ministry of Economics is now examining direct equity participation – nationalization.

In an article on the Nachdenkseiten, the economist and journalist Jens Berger criticizes the entire concept of the gas levy as completely inadequate. According to Berger’s calculation, the gas levy would not have to be estimated at 2.42 cents, as Habeck had announced, but at 10 cents per kilowatt hour. For households, this is a considerable additional burden that in many cases cannot be borne.

It is also difficult to exclude those market participants who are not really in need. Even the Ministry fears strong deadweight effects.

According to media reports, Habeck plans to postpone the introduction of the gas surcharge from October 1st to October 31st. Nothing will probably come of this, as the crisis will continue to worsen by then. Habeck’s project failed. Jens Berger proves that the minister lacks competence and even calls for his resignation in view of the severity of the foreseeable crisis. Berger says:

“In the middle of the worst energy crisis in the history of the Federal Republic, security of supply is not a practice course on which such an overwhelmed trainee minister should be allowed to gain practical experience. It is serious. It is therefore overdue that the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs should be given the supreme crisis management role in the energy crisis revoke.”

more on the subject – “No milk without gas” – Farmers’ association and suppliers warn of the consequences of the energy crisis

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Source: RT

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J. A. Allen

Author, blogger, freelance writer. Hater of spiders. Drinker of wine. Mother of hellions.

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