With three days to go before the start of the tripartite negotiations, the presidents of of the three governing parties’ youth sections presented their own ideas.
The representatives of the three governing parties, the Democratic Party (DP), the Luxembourg Socialist Workers’ Party (LSAP), and the Green Party (déi Gréng), are keeping a low profile ahead of the start of the tripartite negotiations on Sunday. Prime Minister Xavier Bettel stressed on multiple occasions that the negotiations with the social partners would not be conducted in public. The presidents of these three parties’ youth sections, on the other hand, are a bit more outspoken. Some have very specific demands for how to help residents in times of massive inflation.
For example, the Jonk Demokraten (“Young Democrats”), the DP’s youth section, are calling for a degressive monthly energy allowance of €200 for small- and medium-income households. Higher-income households would not receive the full amount of the allowance. The youth section of the DP does not specify at what income level a household would no longer receive money. In addition to financial support, the Young Democrats are also focusing on energy saving through remote work, as JDL president Michael Agostini explains: “We are still advocating for every employee to have the right to remote work.” According to the JDL, this would help to reduce the number of kilometres travelled to work. The DP’s youth section believes that the state, in particular, should implement this policy and incorporate remote work for civil servants into the government’s broader energy strategy.
Meanwhile, Amir Vesali, co-chair of the Young Socialists, believes that the right to work from home is not the best solution to rising energy prices. Many employees are unable to work from home, and the problematic position of cross-border workers would come up again, according to Vesali. As a result, the Young Socialists demand concrete assistance from the state.
“Don’t forget young people!”
Specifically, the LSAP’s youth section proposes the introduction of a tax-free energy voucher of €500 per month for an average household of three people with an income of up to €5,500. According to the Young Socialists, such a policy would ensure financial support “right up to the middle classes.” In addition, the LSAP’s youth section proposes a special “social rate” for gas and electricity. This reduced rate would only apply to the inhabitants of the Grand Duchy and would cover essential household requirements. The standard market price would apply to everything above a specific threshold.
The Jonk Gréng (“Young Greens”) propose making premiums for climate-friendly heating even more attractive. Households that feed all of the electricity generated by their photovoltaic systems into the grid should be encouraged to use it for their own purposes through a subsidy, according to the Green Party’s youth section. Fabricio da Costa, the co-chair of the Young Greens, also advocates for specific measures to maintain the purchasing power of young people.
“For us, it is very important not to forget young people,” da Costa stresses, adding that “they are all deeply affected by the crisis and must be supported”. To this end, the Green Party’s youth section has proposed to include student grants in the wage indexation system.
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