Europeans who are struggling to buy their food and heat their homes can no longer wait. Soaring prices require immediate taxation of all companies that are profiting from the current social and economic crisis, not just the energy ones, urge the S&Ds.
Biljana Borzan MEP, S&D vice-president for economic matters, said:
“This crisis is affecting Europeans now. Consumers’ energy contracts are constantly in breach, the charges are getting higher, and both vulnerable and middle class consumers could find themselves without hot water or electricity in the upcoming colder days. They do not need lengthy discussions aimed at preserving the national interests of a few; they need responsible politicians acting without further delay.
“We welcome the European Commission’s proposal for a solidarity contribution. However, this is simply not enough as it affects only a small number of those who have been profiting from this crisis and the pandemic. Luckily, the proposal sets a minimum standard. The good news is that nothing prevents countries from going beyond this minimum standard and fairly distribute the burden.
“The current struggle also confirms the need for a permanent European fiscal capacity for crises, as well as bolstering the SURE instrument* introduced during the pandemic to protect jobs and workers. We need to strengthen Europe’s resilience to crises.”
Mohammed Chahim MEP, S&D vice-president for energy, said:
“We hope the energy ministers will finally agree on the measures to collect surplus revenues from the production of electricity. All energy producers must carry their fair share of the burden and we welcome the idea that the fossil fuel sector should also participate in this common European effort to face the challenges of the energy crisis.
“Our group calls for decoupling the price of gas from electricity prices in order to reduce the volatility of electricity prices in the wholesale market.
“Exchanges of views amongst ministers are fine as long as they lead to concrete results that help people. Our group has long been calling on them to deal with the distortions within our own energy market. This undoubtedly means bold and immediate measures to stop speculations and manipulations.”
* A European instrument for temporary support to mitigate unemployment risks in an emergency (SURE)