Consumers struggling with the high costs of heating their homes and commuting to work will have no doubt been thrilled to hear that help is on its way with a fresh package of relief measures aimed at middle-income earners.
But news reports suggest that it could be at least several weeks until the financial assistance reaches our pockets.
According to German daily Bild, the impact of the energy package is unlikely to be felt by consumers until midsummer at the earliest.
The new measures, which include things like a one-time energy allowance and cheaper public transport, will probably come into force sometime after July 1st, they wrote.
Why will it take so long?
Though the parties of the traffic-light coalition are now united around the plans, the government will have to follow the necessary parliamentary procedures before bringing in the measures, which could cause delays.
This includes finalising the draft of the new law and then getting it passed in both the Bundestag (lower house of parliament) and Bundesrat (upper house of parliament). Bild estimates that this part of the process could drag on until May.
The government will also need to iron out some of the more practical issues around the measures, such as how a one-time payment of €300 will be distributed to taxpayers on top of their salaries.
With the measures estimated to cost an eye-watering €17 billion, money will also need to be made available through what the government is terming a “supplementary budget”, which will likely include billions of euros of new borrowing.
This will also need to be voted through by parliament.
What measures are being introduced?
To relieve low and middle-income earners from steep energy prices, the government wants to provide a one-off allowance of €300 per taxpayer, as well as supporting benefits claimants with a €200 payout.
It will also target mobility by slashing energy taxes on fuel for three months and introducing a special 90-day local transport ticket for €9 per month.
Other measures that will need to be financed include a bonus payment (Kinderbonus) of €100 per child for families, a campaign to roll out eco-friendly heat pumps in houses and a potential rebate of the CO2 tax to energy efficient households, which has been termed “climate money”.
The government also wants to improve the energy efficiency of newbuilds and give new powers to the Cartel Office to make sure the benefit of tax cuts on fuel and energy are passed onto consumers.