Against inflation – Doskozil relieves municipalities with 38 million euros


Against inflation – Doskozil relieves municipalities with 38 million euros

Blast effect shortly before the New Year’s celebration: a letter from the state government now flies into all 171 offices. A multi-million dollar aid package for the communities is announced, negotiated by the SPÖ and ÖVP.

The wave of inflation is putting communities under increasing pressure. To counter this, an additional financing pot – filled with 19 million euros – has already been planned in the state budget for 2024.

This financial support is intended to support special municipal projects. “Nevertheless, structural measures are needed that provide sustainable and long-lasting relief for the communities,” Governor Hans Peter Doskozil and Deputy Astrid Eisenkopf, both SPÖ, said in the current letter.

Intensive negotiations
The talks have been taking place behind closed doors for three weeks. “The discussions are constructive and promising,” it said. Sitting at the table with Doskozil and Eisenkopf are Erich Trummer, chairman of the Association of Social Democratic Community Representatives, Leo Radakovits, chairman of the Association of Municipalities, and his deputy Thomas Steiner, as well as the chairman of the Association of Cities, Elisabeth Bohm.

Relieving personnel costs
Before negotiations continue in January 2024, Doskozil and Eisenkopf announced in the letter to all mayors the details of a total package to reduce the burden on the 171 municipalities. State funding for personnel costs in kindergartens, especially for primary school teachers and helpers, needs to be greatly expanded.

The subsidy has almost doubled
The country currently covers about 45 percent of expenditure. “Our offer now is to reorganize the reimbursement of personnel costs and increase the premium percentage to 85 percent. Personal sovereignty remains with the municipalities,” the letter explains. In the first year alone, this proposal would save municipalities more than 38 million euros, including municipal resources from the Basic Education Future Fund.

“In the coming years, the volume of assistance will increase to 51 million euros in 2030 due to indexation and increases in personnel costs,” the mayors said.

Garbage association in the state holding company
The takeover of the waste association by the state is also being discussed. The proposal to integrate into the state holding company is on the table. “From the current perspective, the waste association could act as a separate legal entity and be managed from an economic perspective,” the commentary said. Legal design options are currently being investigated and implementation models are being developed.

“This step would be accompanied by the guarantee that the range of services and performance of the Burgenland Waste Association are fully maintained. The same offer with uniform national rates for all households and uniform municipal rates based on usual conditions would continue to be guaranteed,” Doskozil announces.

In concrete terms, talks between the SPÖ and ÖVP should continue at the end of next month.

Source: Krone


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