Editor’s note: Dear readers, SPÖ leader Pamela Rendi-Wagner read this remark to Chancellor Karl Nehammer in parliament and drew his attention to the huge poverty problem in Austria. This note is part of our Plus offer. Due to its social relevance, you can exceptionally read this response here in its entirety without registering.
Karl Nehammer, did you sleep well last night? Yes? It’s a privilege to wake up in a warm bed, put on shoes without holes, reach into a fridge full of fresh fruit.
When you have nightmares, it’s not about debt, rent, collection agencies, gas bills. If you’re hungry, eat something. Very easy. You can’t be blamed. You are Chancellor of the Republic of Austria. Chancellors are not poor wretches.
But there are accusations you have to accept. Other countries have handled inflation much better. So says WIFO boss Gabriel Felbermayr. These countries have reduced VAT rates, intervened in rents, there were price regulations, caps. Not with us. After the electricity cost brake, the oven went out. cash gifts fizzle out.
Those who are among Austria’s 201,000 people living in abject poverty are unable to provide for their own basic needs. And neither are his children. Three out of four affected people cannot afford heating or a main meal every two days. 1.5 million people can hardly cope with the sharp rise in housing and energy costs. In Vienna, three percent of the population no longer goes to the doctor, even though they should. Because there is no money for their health.
Karl Nehammer, did you sleep well last night? Yes? I ask myself why
I am George Kunkel, an author working for Today Times Live. I specialize in opinion pieces and cover stories that are both informative and thought-provoking – helping to shape public discourse on key issues. My work is regularly featured across the network’s many platforms, including print media and social media.