The government is now setting up a group of experts to monitor inflation and its impact on prices. Finance Minister Magnus Brunner (ÖVP) announced this on Wednesday after the Council of Ministers. In addition to economic researchers, the committee also includes the social partners, who have been quite upset lately because they saw themselves insufficiently involved in the government’s emergency measures. With regard to the new Corona regulation, Minister of Social Affairs Johannes Rauch (Greens) already canceled the wait on Wednesday. But it will be ready in time, they said.
The cabinet apparently wants to calm the social partners and approach the various interest groups by announcing the establishment of an “Expert: innengruppe zum Monitoring and Analysis of Inflation Development (EBAI)” in the press foyer of the Council of Ministers on Wednesday. The Ministry of Social Affairs and the Ministry of Finance hold the presidency.
Experts must develop countermeasures
The group of experts should monitor inflation and its economic effects, identify inflation factors and prepare analyzes “of the functionality of the markets,” explains Brunner. In addition, in the long term, the commission must develop efficient, but also “budget-friendly” countermeasures. The regular reports must also be published. The goal is that there are “no expensive surprises at the end”.
The workgroup is not exactly slim. They want to invite various ministries, such as the Ministry of Climate Protection or the Ministry of Economic Affairs, as well as the Trade Union Federation, Chamber of Labor, Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Agriculture, Industrial Association, Federal Youth Representation and Seniors’ Council. The economic research institutes WIFO and IHS, the National Bank (OeNB), the Federal Competition Authority, E-Control, the Fiscal Council and Statistics Austria must also be there.
How much can the state intercept?
Most recently, ÖGB boss Wolfgang Katzian said quite frankly that he felt “cheated” because the government announced a package of measures just days before a round of talks with the social partners. In substance, Katzian had called for a pricing committee to regulate prices.
According to Brunner, the state can never fully compensate for the effects of high inflation, but it can mitigate the effects on groups that are particularly affected. The Minister of Finance again promoted the measures that had already been taken, such as increasing the commuting allowance for drivers.
“Where the market fails, politics must intervene”
Minister of Social Affairs Johannes Rauch (Greens) also emphasized that parcels had already been sent. The main price drivers are the energy markets, and “sometimes there is a sort of gold rush mood in the energy markets,” Rauch criticized. “Where the market fails, politicians must intervene”, and the new Commission should take a look at where this market failure lies.
“Please wait” is still the motto when it comes to the Corona regulation. From Friday there will only be a limited trial offer, but that does not mean that the regulation that regulates the entire procedure will be available two days earlier. Health Minister Rauch said it would be ready on time. You work precisely so that the regulation also applies in the event of objections.