The so-called Energy Control Act is causing a stir: the SPÖ blocks it – and comes up with a proposal: taxing the corporate profits. For the ÖVP this is “irresponsible”.
The country is firmly in the clenched fist of inflation. Food and especially energy sources are causing fear and political strife given the unstoppable inflation. The SPÖ refused to pass the Energy Control Act – because of the commissioning of the coal-fired power station in Mellach and because of the lack of additional taxation of energy companies, which are making profits like never before. Green Climate Minister Leonore Gewessler was extremely aggressive and specific: “The SPÖ is responsible when people freeze in winter.”
ÖVP club president August Wöginger is also heated: “The Reds jumped out at the last minute. We are talking about 240,000 households. That is about 400,000 people.” According to Wöginger, the SPÖ is acting irresponsibly. You can’t weigh something so important against too much profit tax. A decision on the law is urgently needed, requiring a two-thirds vote, because for Mellach to be operational in the late winter, the necessary coal quota must now be purchased.
The SPÖ remains ice cold on the hot topic
However, the SPÖ remains icy cold in the hot thing. “Keeping surplus profits and getting extra tax money is not possible,” says club vice president Jörg Leichtfried. The Reds presented proposals on Thursday “to ensure security of supply”. He cannot understand the outrage of the coalition. “It is out of the question that people have to pay twice. Once about their increased energy bill, once about their tax money.”
As profiteers from the crisis, companies with extraordinary excess profits should finance the conversion themselves from those profits. Chancellor Nehammer and his green deputy Kogler had already suggested this. The government must make a legally binding commitment to guarantee general taxation on the companies’ billions of surplus profits. Then the SPÖ was ready to give in.
Unions now mobilize for autumn
The rise in prices is also increasingly affecting the middle class, apart from the 1.5 million people who have long known poverty as a daily companion. On September 17, the unions march through Austria, led by the combative and argumentative ÖGB boss Wolfgang Katzian. “More and more people are angry. They want to express their displeasure.”
Salary negotiations are also underway. On September 19, the groundbreaking negotiations with the metalheads begin. Like the retirees, Katzian insists on a decent plus. It’s going to be a hot autumn.