The levy will see ordinary people bear some of the soaring costs that gas importers are dealing with as energy prices shoot up because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the subsequent squeeze on gas exports to Europe by Russia.
It is set to be imposed from October 1st and is aimed at propping up the German energy market.
However, a draft document seen by several German media organisations shows that the government is planning to delay the payments due from customers.
The advance payments for October and November should “not be due before October 31st, 2022”, say the draft plans from the Federal Ministry of Economics dated Monday.
According to the current legal situation, advance payments could be possible in September.
However, it appears that the levy is still set to come into force at the start of October, even if the payment is delayed.
All gas customers will have to pay an additional 2.4 cents per kilowatt hour from October, which means an extra burden of several hundred euros per household. The surcharge is in place until April 1st 2024, and is subject to adjustment every three months.
At the same time, VAT on gas consumption will be reduced by the government.
However, it emerged recently that some companies who have registered to receive a share of the levy include some who have not been struggling in the current situation.
German Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck recently admitted mistakes in the design of the levy.
Habeck said that the main focus had been on preventing a collapse of gas supplies in Germany, but that insufficient attention had been paid to the problem of “free riders”. He said improvements would be made.
The opposition Christian Democrats are opposed to the gas levy. CDU parliamentary group vice chairman Jens Spahn told DPA the situation remained “murky” and called for the levy to be shelved.
Advance payments – (die) Abschlagszahlungen
Due – fällig
Extra/additional burden – (die) Zusatzbelastung
Gas consumption – (der) Gasverbrauch
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