BERLIN (AP) — Consumers and businesses in Germany will receive subsidies to soften the blow of higher gas and electricity prices starting in January, two months earlier than originally planned. Officials made the announcement Tuesday as part of an larger pot of almost 300 billion euros in subsidies that the German government is cooking up to address the energy crisis resulting from Russia’s war in Ukraine. The Economy Ministry says bringing the measure forward by two months would cost the public purse about 4.5 billion euros more. Critics had warned that starting the subsidy in March could have caused undue hardship for many over the winter months. Consumers and small businesses won’t have to pay their December gas and heating bill.
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