First 100 days of the new Federal Government – getting Austria ready for future challenges
End of debt policy – relief of small and medium incomes – focus on education, security and economic competitiveness
The Austrian Federal Government, led by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, has been in office for 100 days. From day one, the coalition’s main intention was to actively work on solutions that benefit all Austrian citizens. Relieving tax burdens for low and medium incomes, increasing security with regards to illegal migration and strengthening the educational sector as well as promoting the economic attractiveness are key priorities for this government.
End of debt policy – Reducing costs within the system
For the first time since 1954, Austria will earn more than it spends on a federal level – putting an end to a long-lasting debt policy. For 2019, the Ministry of Finance expects an administrative surplus of over € 500 million. Through a responsible economic policy, we will be able to reach the Maastricht debt-to-GDP ratio of 60% by 2022. A more efficient use of resources will furthermore allow us to save approximately € 2.5 billion in administrative and subsidies-related costs. While we decided to reduce expenditures for asylum holders and seekers to the extent of € 1 billion, we committed over € 2 billion for investments in the areas of education, family, safety and elderly care.
Family Bonus Plus – tax reduction of € 1,500
By implementing the Family Bonus Plus, the Federal Government aims to reduce the tax burden on families to up to € 1,500 per year and child. Single parents and single-earner families with lower incomes will also benefit from the substantial tax relief. By indexing family benefits to the respective EU-country of residence, we expect aggregate savings of approximately € 100 million per year.
Maximum security needs a robust executive power
With their latest security offensive, the Federal Government is committed to increase resources and provide further education and training measures for its security forces. The measures include the creation of 2100 additional permanent positions, as well as 2000 training positions. In addition to that, the initiative will also enhance our capabilities to fight organized crime in a digital world, enabling the monitoring of specific and targeted internet-based communication, among other measures.
Education: improved conditions for students and researchers
For the key priorities education and research, the Federal Government is increasing the annual budget by almost 10 %. Furthermore, 500 additional professorships will be awarded to improve studying-conditions in universities and technical colleges nationwide.
Austria as a business hub – economic growth, attractiveness and digitalization
To strengthen Austria’s competitiveness as a business hub, the Federal Government has implemented a number of measures - including embedding economic growth and employment in the Federal Constitution. Furthermore, we recognize digitalization as a great opportunity to boost the national economy and modernize our administrative system. Measures taken hereby include an innovative and forward-looking e-government, an inclusive broadband offensive as well as a comprehensive de-bureaucratization initiative.
Environment: A comprehensive Climate and Energy Strategy
The Federal Government made a clear commitment to an inclusive climate and energy strategy. Key strategic goals include the reduction of greenhouse gases, boosting clean and renewable energy applications as well as increasing energy-efficiency substantially by 2030.
A Wall of Names for Holocaust Victims
Austria clearly recognizes its historic responsibility. It is our profound determination to continue to fight against all forms of antisemitism, racism and intolerance. In this context, the Federal Government supports the construction of a wall of names for the 66,000 Jewish Austrian victims of the Shoah.
EU-Presidency –“A Europe, That Protects”
In the context of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which Austria will be chairing in the second half of 2018, the Federal Government presented its key priorities in the fields of security, welfare, competitiveness and stability in the Union. Austria will live up to its role as a bridge-builder, strengthening partnerships and reducing tensions. Furthermore the focus on the key priorities of the EU-Presidency, will be enhanced through a 3-pillar-approach, which includes a reinforced focus on migration, protection of external borders, welfare and digitalization and on strengthening the Union’s competitiveness.