Christian Lindner rejects the Greens: is the next coalition dispute looming?

The traffic light parties have just celebrated their agreement. Statements by the Minister of Finance could now arouse new dissatisfaction.

Is the coalition dispute going to the next round? The SPD, Greens and FDP had just agreed on a compromise for the widespread end of new oil and gas heating systems. Consensus between the government partners: the heat transition must be accompanied by a funding program. But now it is clear: Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) has different ideas than Economics and Climate Minister Robert Habeck (Greens).

According to Lindner, state funding for climate-friendly heating systems could be based on the condition of the device to be replaced. “Graduation could be based on how old and dirty the heating is that is to be renewed,” said the FDP chairman of the “Bild am Sonntag”. “People who have little money tend to have heaters that are older. In this respect, there is a social component involved.”

The Ministry of Finance had already said on Saturday that there could be a kind of scrapping bonus for old heating systems, which is graded according to the age of the systems to be replaced. Incentives for voluntary exchange should be set.

How should the grants be financed?

Robert Habeck, on the other hand, had spoken before the traffic light compromise of wanting to stagger the new funding according to income. Young families who have little money and pensioners who receive a small pension must be supported differently than the “millionaire who already has three villas”.

In an interview with “Bild am Sonntag”, Lindner also warned against exaggerated expectations. State funding options are limited. “We are currently working on a funding program that will be considerable. However, one must never forget that in the end it is always the taxpayers who pay for it.”



However, the federal government had announced that it did not want to finance the subsidies through the budget, but through the climate and transformation fund. This has special assets of more than 170 billion euros and is fed, among other things, from the income from emissions trading. Details on financing the subsidies should be clarified in the draft law.

According to information from the Federal Economics Ministry and the Federal Building Ministry on Friday, a finished draft law supported by all three parties is already available. He should promptly go to the state and association hearing and then to the cabinet.

Lindner: “No one should be fooled”

According to this, the core principle remains that from January 1, 2024, every newly installed heating system must be operated with 65 percent renewable energies. However, there should be exceptions, transition periods and comprehensive funding. According to the information, the originally planned replacement obligation for functioning oil and gas heating systems will be waived.

Lindner defended the waiver of a replacement obligation. “No one should be fooled,” said Lindner. For pensioners in particular, “sharp obligations” would have looked like expropriation.

No money for “the next central project” of the Greens?

And on another topic there is a noticeable crunch between the Greens and the FDP: In the same interview, the FDP leader said that in the current federal budget there is hardly any scope for basic child security – a project close to the heart of the Greens. “A lot has already happened for families with children,” Lindner told the newspaper. The child benefit has been increased to 250 euros, higher than it has been since 1996. In total, seven billion euros more would be available per year for families and children, so the essentials for basic child security would be done financially.

He sees other approaches to combating child poverty, said the Minister of Finance: “Child poverty is often due to the parents’ unemployment. That is why language training and integration of parents into the labor market are crucial in order to improve children’s chances.” The redistribution of money “will reach its limits at some point in the fight against poverty”.


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