The FPÖ, NEOS and SPÖ criticized the government’s draft budget on Monday. For example, the NEOS demanded a return to a sustainable budget path, and the liberal Secretary General Christian Hafenecker even says that Austria is “being completely driven to the wall financially”.
“The federal government is not thinking about saving, the tap continues to turn on as if there is no tomorrow,” he said at a press conference on Monday. In this context, he mentioned a budget deficit and public debt of 21 billion euros, which could rise to 435 billion euros in 2027. The FPÖ politician viewed spending on Ukraine, the EU and the climate ticket as negative.
The NEOS accused the government on Monday of only thinking about next year’s elections. The budget plan is not sustainable. Austria has a “spending problem and not a revenue problem,” said the club’s vice-president Gerald Loacker. In the coming year, both the tax burden and the interest burden would increase. The NEOS were particularly critical of what they perceived as high expenditure on pensions and financial equalization. According to budget spokeswoman Karin Doppelbauer, a debt brake with figures and objectives regarding the constitutional status is necessary.
NEOS wants higher expenditure on education
However, according to the party, more money should be spent on education, research or climate change, as these are long-term policy goals.
In a broadcast on Monday, the SPÖ described the draft budget as “dramatic.” “If there were an appropriate title for this budget, it would be ‘After Us the Flood’!” it says. The federal government poured a lot of money into wasted one-time payments, but didn’t lower prices. According to budget spokesman Jan Krainer, Austria has been the country with the highest inflation in Western Europe for ten months.
Government plans shortage
As reported, the draft budget for 2024 presented by the government provides for income of 102.63 billion euros and expenditure of 123.49 billion euros. This results in a deficit of approximately 20.9 billion euros. Additional money must flow to health care, care, national defense, housing and childcare, among other things.
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