FDP leader Lindner warns of an electricity crisis. Politics

After his wedding in Sylt and a few days of vacation, Christian Lindner looks tanned and relaxed.

But the finance minister is under a lot of pressure: first there have been harsh criticisms of the multi-day wedding ceremonies (“a private matter” for Lindner), and then reports of allegedly being too close to the carmaker Porsche. In addition, the SPD and the Greens want fresh billions from Lindner’s budget – and the FDP has 9 percent in the polls (the Greens – 22).

BILD am SONNTAG: Mr. Lindner, do you prefer it to be nice and cool at home and in the office, or toast warm?

Christian Lindner: “If I can choose, I’d rather have a nice office.”

Lindner interviews BILD am SONNTAG editors Roman Eichinger (left) and Burkhard Uhlenbroich in the minister’s office

Photo: © Niels Starnick / Image / BamS

Does your air conditioning operate at full capacity despite the energy crisis?

Lindner: “No. But we have to work to ensure that there is no electricity crisis after the gas crisis. Therefore, gas can no longer be used to produce electricity as it still is. Robert Habeck would have the right to stop this. Instead, we need other capacities. A lot can be done. say not to close down safe and climate-friendly nuclear power plants, but to use them if necessary by 2024 ”.

How do you save energy?

Lindner: “Of course I try to use energy sparingly. It’s harder for a family with several children than for me. Nevertheless, I am cautious about the rules of conduct in private households. Because politicians have to do their homework. “

Chancellor Scholz wants to extend the housing allowance. Are you going to spend the necessary billions on it?

Lindner: “It’s a joint project. People on low incomes are particularly affected. When it comes to the new housing supplement, let’s also think about pensioners who live in their own house but are afraid of high prices because of the low pension. We can finance the housing allowance reform if we consider the budget. After all, it can only be distributed with what has been generated. “

Gas can no longer be used to produce electricity

Nevertheless: Can’t you forget your budget because of the energy crisis?

Lindner: “No, I have taken precautions. Safety barriers are in place. No tax increases as this will exacerbate the economic crisis. Go back to the debt brake as it fights inflation. Relief for people to make life easier. And record investments to secure the future. There is a good ten billion euro available in the budget for projects that have not yet been finalized and that are not foreseen. ‘

Hartz IV customers should soon receive € 50 more per month if Labor Minister Heil and the Greens get their way. Do you also say no to that?

Lindner: “Recipients of the income of a new citizen should have a better life situation than in the Hartz IV system. First of all, I am thinking of more qualification offers and more respect for those who are already working on the side. Currently, Hartz IV beneficiaries sometimes have to forgo 80 percent of their earnings. It is ineffective. However, we should not change the calculation method for passive services. Due to the rising prices of the base rate increase itself, rent and heating are taken over by the taxpayer. This is different from employees who pay everything themselves despite low income. We don’t have the resources to distribute more money to all units. ”

They also want to lower the income and payroll tax rates. Calculations have shown that those with an annual income in excess of € 300,000 will benefit the most, while those with low incomes will benefit little. Do you run a policy for higher earners?

Lindner: “What was the fee? I haven’t even made a suggestion yet. My concern is to protect the middle of the country, from skilled workers to engineers, from secret tax increases. If we don’t adjust the tax rate, everyone will slip and pay more. In addition, the tax-free level of subsistence and child benefit must be increased. Because the state cannot be the winner of inflation. “

When the price cut for tanks ends in late August, gasoline should suddenly become 30 cents more expensive per liter. Will drivers be paid then?

Lindner: “The discount on fuel and the ticket for 9 euros will expire. There will be no further adjustments. I would be open to increasing the employee commuting allowance. Everyone benefits from it, because it applies regardless of the car, train or bicycle. “

Photo: BILD

How close are your contacts to the automotive industry?

Lindner: “I am in touch with all areas of the economy. The head of IG Metall sat where you are. We have to be in return. Work, social security and prosperity are not guarantees. You have to work for everything. Politicians have to create good conditions there. “

Like Porsche, they support e-fuels that will enable combustion vehicles to run in a climate-friendly way in the future.

Lindner: “Not really, for years I have been in favor of being open to technology and against the political ban on the internal combustion engine. Because thanks to e-fuels it can become climate neutral. The market should then decide what role electromobility and climate neutral alternatives will play. In any case, we must not weaken a key industry that employs hundreds of thousands of people. “

This article is from BILD am SONNTAG. The ePaper of the entire issue is available here.

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