Fight against poverty – A prize package that is not enough

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New anti-inflation package: Energy costs fall, but people in need are not relieved when shopping in supermarkets. There is no inflation adjustment, experts say.

For months nothing happened against the wave of inflation. The highlight of the refusal to solve the problem was the blocking of the rent brake by the ÖVP. Only when the pressure became almost unbearable did the coalition ignite the turbo. Barely 48 hours after the failed food summit, Chancellor Karl Nehammer and Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler (Greens) put an anti-inflation package on the table (see chart).

Nehammer is particularly squeezing the energy companies. “If energy suppliers don’t start lowering prices immediately, we as a republic will ask them to pay,” the chancellor threatens.

Compensation in living costs demanded for six months
In plain language, this means that energy companies whose rates are not lower will have to hand over much more excess profits to the state than previously planned. Nehammer’s logic behind this measure is simple. When energy prices fall, inflation falls. As a chain reaction, the high level of food prices must also be reduced.

In addition, citizens who have installed a smart meter (the device passes on the meter data to the grid operator) must be entitled to a monthly bill of consumption. A smoke grenade from the government, because that right already exists.

Is that enough?
Are the coalition measures enough to bring inflation under control? The direction is right. But that can’t be all. The summary of the economic research experts can be reduced to one sentence.

The boss of the Budget Council, Christoph Badelt, is urgently calling for an inflation correction. “I never get tired of preaching that.” His model: The citizens who receive social assistance should receive a subsidy for groceries for the next six months. Because about 548,000 Austrians can no longer afford a hot meal.

Source: Krone

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