In an interview with SWR, Amadeus Bach warns against misguided incentives: instead of tax cuts on fuel prices, he prefers targeted relief for particularly affected citizens and incentives for local transport.
SWR: The high gasoline and diesel prices are a source of annoyance for many drivers. At the same time, bus or cab companies don't know how to finance the high fuel prices. Would it make sense for the federal government to lower taxes on the price of gasoline?
Amadeus Bach: I take a critical view of tax cuts on the price of gasoline or diesel, among other things from an ecological perspective. If the price of gasoline is reduced, it increases demand. This means that more crude oil has to be imported. And that's exactly what we don't want. Our goal should be to reduce our dependence on oil imports from Russia.
Lowering the price of gasoline would also be a clear disincentive for me – I would not recommend such an approach. From a geopolitical perspective, we also have an interest in reducing consumption. Consumers should rather be relieved in other ways.
How could the Baden-Württemberg state government ease the burden on consumers?
The state government could provide targeted incentives for people to make greater use of local public transportation – for example, by subsidizing the ticket price. For example, Deutsche Bahn's long-distance transport uses renewable energies, so that's also good for the environment.
Another option would be to create incentives for people to travel to work by bicycle or electric scooter. Or, of course, switch to electromobility altogether. That would all be better for the climate and the geopolitical situation.
Read the full interview here.