Germany: Temporary speed limit of 100 km/h on freeways and 30 km/h in cities due to high fuel prices?

Due to high fuel prices, the president of the Federation of German Trade Unions (Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund, DGB) Reiner Hoffmann has put forward the idea of introducing speed limits. “We could introduce a speed limit of 100 km/h on freeways and 30 km/h in cities for a certain period of time to reduce energy consumption,” – Hoffmann said in an interview with newspapers published by Funke Mediengruppe.

Reiner Hoffmann sets his sights on developing renewable energy sources

“It is right to save every drop of gasoline we can spare.” But that is not yet the answer to structural problems, he added. “We need to ensure energy security, and this can be achieved primarily by developing renewable energy sources,” – said the DGB chief.

Hoffmann advocated the introduction of discounts for specific groups, for people who need this support the most. The fuel discount proposed by German Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) is in his opinion “great for the oil industry and SUV drivers, who could pay and three euros per liter of fuel. It does not, however, help those who have to commute to work every day in a passenger car.”

“We need more fairness in our tax system”

The DGB is particularly in favor of the introduction of a so-called “Mobilitätsgeld” that could replace the commuter lump sum (Pendlerpauschale). The lump sum, in its view, has the disadvantage that low-income workers, who pay little income tax, receive less relief than high earners despite the same distance to work, according to a document made available to the German Press Agency. “That is why we need Mobilitätsgeld, a benefit that will be granted regardless of income and means of transportation,” – it stated.

Hoffmann is also demanding significantly higher subsidies for heating costs, as well as a temporary reduction in VAT on gas and electricity. To fund this, the DGB chairman has proposed significant tax increases for the rich. “We need more fairness in our tax system – whether it’s inheritance tax, wealth tax, income tax or capital gains tax,” – Hoffmann said in an interview with newspapers published by Funke Mediengruppe.

Rising energy prices increasingly threaten jobs

The president of the Federation of German Trade Unions further warned that rising energy prices are increasingly threatening jobs. “Especially in energy-intensive industries there is a threat of job losses if appropriate measures are not taken quickly,” Reiner Hoffmann told the German Press Agency. The DGB is calling for the urgent introduction of an electricity price cap for industry at a level comparable to that on the international market.


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