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Expensive energy, high inflation: “Who should pay for it?”

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The high energy prices and expensive groceries put many people in acute need of existence. Young families and students are now also coming to the counseling centers.

It’s not good news that Daniela Fröhlich is holding in her hands. In a letter, her gas supplier announces a drastic increase in the monthly payment for her family home near Potsdam. Instead of the previous 178 euros per month, she should now pay 2048 euros. “It’s unbelievable. Who’s going to pay for it?” she asks indignantly.

“It’s unbelievable”: Daniela Fröhlich on the high advance payments from her gas supplier.

Image: rbb

A tenfold increase in the discount is currently not uncommon, according to consumer advocates. The Fröhlich family has now terminated their gas supplier and is switching to their local basic supplier. Since the tariff is about three times as high instead of ten times. Added to this are the increased prices for groceries. “For everyday life, that means that we look at where we shop, what we buy and what we can ultimately still afford. Holidays are already out of the question.” The Fröhlich family thinks that they are still doing well financially.

Consumer Day: Debt counseling crowds from all walks of life

J.Piwon/T. Jäger, RBB, daily news at 8:00 p.m., September 26, 2022

Pensioners with existential worries

The current price increases are also a cause for concern for Roswitha and Marion Appelt from Wittenberge. “As a Hartz IV recipient, I’m absolutely concerned about my livelihood. Because you don’t know how things will continue, how prices will explode,” says Marion Appelt. The sisters worry about whether they will soon be able to afford anything to eat. “That’s really bad. With my small pension, that’s not enough in the first place.”

The Appelt sisters have acute existential worries.

Image: rbb

Great uncertainty

Advice and help offers have been registering a significant increase for several weeks. “People come to the counseling centers that we have never seen before,” says Andreas Kaczynski from the Joint Association. There are now also young families, more pensioners or students who need help. So far, these groups have managed to make ends meet. “But these price increases hit everyone.”

The uncertainty is great. The top consumer advocate Ramona Pop speaks of the biggest crisis for consumers in decades. Many price increases in energy contracts are not “quite within the legal framework,” says Pop. “We are taking legal action against this.” The consumer centers check the invoices and issue warnings if necessary.

A rental moratorium?

Karin Koßau is a teacher in Brandenburg. She fears a split in society due to the tense situation and has noticed this in her students: “I’m afraid they won’t have anything in their lunch boxes.” And that there could then be a mood against foreign classmates. “They’re taking our money away now, the children say.”

Andreas Kaczynski from the Paritätischer Gesamtverband is therefore urging people to receive even more financial support from the federal government. It’s also about giving a bit of confidence. “For me that means that we need something like a rental moratorium, or an energy and gas moratorium.” Everyone must be sure that they will not lose their home or that their electricity will be cut off.