While the country's opposition parties express support for most of the measures taken at the recent tripartite meeting, many lament that social selectivity should be increased to prevent high earners from benefiting more significantly than others.
The government described the tripartite measures as an anti-inflation package designed to strengthen people's buying power. It took 30 hours of negotiations to settle on an agreement in principle, which is expected to cost the government €1 billion. All parties in the Chamber have since shared their views on the government's chosen path forward.
The Christian Social People's Party
The largest opposition party has long advocated for a limitation on energy prices and therefore welcomes the government's proposed package of measures, explained MP Gilles Roth, co-president of CSV's parliamentary group. Similarly, the conservatives support the upholding of the index system.
In terms of criticism, the CSV still wanted to see an adjustment of the tax table to the rate of inflation. MP Roth noted: "This is not a philosophical issue, but a very concrete measure to improve people's buying power. ... We made the government aware of this time and again, if there are more index cuts, we will increase tax burden by 17.5%, which is a lot."
The Left and the Pirate Party
Both parties lament that the limitation of energy prices will apply to everyone and thereby allow high-income households to benefit more significantly.
MP Sven Clement from the Pirate Party explained: "The government has opened its wallet wide enough to avoid social restlessness. In that sense, it was a smart move. Particularly since they shut down any discussion on social selectivity. They pour the watering can across the country once, so that nobody can say that they were left behind."
The Left's MP Myriam Cecchetti shared a similar viewpoint: "We would have preferred selective measures to assess who really needs support. Prices could have been limited to a certain degree and become more expensive, depending on usage. This would have made sense in light of the climate crisis, and in light of the fact that high earners produce most CO2 emissions and use most energy."
The Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party
Yesterday, non-profit organisation Mouvement Ecologique already criticised that without social selectivity, high earners would not be incentivised to conserve energy. President Blanche Weber thus concluded that the climate crisis had been forgotten in the support package.
LSAP's Francine Closener defended the agreement: "Of course it does not mean that there are not individual areas in need of rectification. It does not mean that we do not have to save energy. I think that the time of cheap fossil energy is over. We now have this agreement, but we also need to do something against the energy crisis. And the climate crisis also remains unresolved and in need of management."
The Greens also want to further promote the conservation of energy. The party views the anti-inflation package as necessary to quickly bring about pragmatic relief to businesses and households.
At the same time, party president Djuna Bernard expressed understanding for the criticism from the Left: "The entire population and all businesses are directly affected and none of them are to blame. It is a reaction to the war. All people need help. Other measures can however be more selective, such as the raising of the cost-of-living allowance and the energy bonus."
The Democratic Party
Since employers' representatives have expressed reservations about the measures despite carrying them, MP Gilles Baum, president of the DP parliamentary group, tried to ensure that businesses will not be left behind either: "We need strong businesses to keep the economy running. With people's buying power we guarantee that companies can work. The preservation of jobs is extremely important. The unemployment rate is at a historic low and should stay that way."
The Alternative Democratic Reform Party
The ADR welcomes the preliminary success of the tripartite meeting, praising the limitation of energy prices in particular. Nevertheless, the party laments that there is no reduction of fuel costs, arguing that both petrol and diesel should remain cheaper in Luxembourg than in our neighbouring countries.
MP Fred Keup noted: "Fuel is much cheaper in France, which is not good for people here in the country and not good for the fuel tourism. People from our neighbourig countries no longer come to fill up their tanks. However, there is no easier way of earning money. We now risk loosing hundreds of millions of euros that could be used to finance social measures."
Both the ADR and the CSV further share the demand that the state debt should stay below 30% of GDP.