The revenues from the digital tax introduced in Austria in 2020 are bubbling up. If 34 million euros were taken in the first year, it will be 80 million euros in 2021 and Finance Minister Magnus Brunner (ÖVP) expects 100 million euros for this year. It was the “right decision” to introduce this, he hopes there will also be agreement across Europe by the end of the year.
“The digital tax is a matter of justice,” said Brunner of the APA. Austria is a pioneer here, “our experts are in charge of the negotiations on an international digital tax”. At the EU level, Brunner hopes for an early decision before the end of the year, so that the tax can come into effect as early as 2023. There was a blockade by Hungary and Poland, but Poland had already relented. The topic will continue to occupy the Ecofin and “I am optimistic the tax will come”.
When it comes to introducing a global digital tax, a lot depends on the US. Midterm elections will be held in the fall. A lot depends on that, says Brunner, who is “careful” about forecasting.
“Sustainable fiscal policy needed”
At the same time, the Finance Minister is pushing for a return to sound fiscal policies at EU level. The extraordinary times have called for exceptions, “but to preserve the monetary union, we must return to sustainable fiscal policies and once again adhere to strict fiscal rules”.
This does not happen in isolation, but is necessary to give the European Central Bank the necessary space. It cannot react so quickly at the moment because the situation in the individual countries is very different.
Price stability “out of control”
The ECB must again focus on its core task, price stability. “It has gotten out of hand.” Austria and Germany are the driving forces when it comes to finding reliable roads again and continuing deleveraging. “We must urge the states involved to return to the debt rules. However, Brunner emphasized that he did not see the monetary union in jeopardy.
Brunner cites “after 2023” as the time horizon. The exceptions have been extended for the next year, but after that it should be over. The Austrian budget is also burdened by the two anti-inflation packages from the start of the year with four and the third package of 28 billion euros. These are significantly larger than the extra income from the increased prices.
Aid packages “don’t fund themselves”
“The shelter packages are larger than the extra tax revenues and are therefore not self-financing.” The national debt is currently 80 percent and is expected to fall to 74 percent by 2026. The forecast Maastricht deficit will be four percent this year and is expected to fall to one percent in 2026. These calculations take into account the abolition of the cold progressions from 2023, which alone accounts for 16 to 17 billion euros. but not with the electricity price brake.
I’m Wayne Wickman, a professional journalist and author for Today Times Live. My specialty is covering global news and current events, offering readers a unique perspective on the world’s most pressing issues. I’m passionate about storytelling and helping people stay informed on the goings-on of our planet.