First excerpts from the speech – “Plan Austria”: this is how Nehammer wants to remain chancellor

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There has been speculation for days about bringing forward the National Council elections. According to rumors, the majority of ÖVP state leaders were in favor. The pressure on Chancellor Karl Nehammer is increasing enormously. As for bringing forward the National Council elections, much could depend on his keynote speech this Friday (January 26). The first excerpts from his “Austria Plan” are already available.

Within the People’s Party, people are looking ahead to January 26. Nehammer will give a speech there as party chairman in Wels. And this should – at least that is the hope of the ÖVP strategists – take his party out of the polls. We hear from ÖVP circles that it will only be decided afterwards – so in February – when the elections for the National Council will take place. On Monday, the party made fragments of the speech available.

Nehammer’s speech: Focus on reducing taxes and additional wage costs

  • Reduction of the input tax rate from 20 to 15 percent
  • A reduction path for indirect labor costs of 0.5 percentage points per year until 2030
  • Return to the social market economy
  • Reduction of unemployment insurance premiums

“I believe in this Austria”
Nehammer is currently busy promoting his speech. On Monday he posted a short video for his ‘Austria plan’ on X (formerly Twitter). The future of our country requires vision and a sense of proportion, responsibility and passion. And above all, the courage to make the right decisions today for tomorrow. Because it is about our Austria. And I believe in this Austria!” wrote Nehammer.

Nehammer therefore has a “program for the five million” in mind, that is, the number of people in Austria who “finance our entire system with their tax payments.” They must keep a larger share of their income and pensions. The ÖVP therefore wants to reduce the input tax rate from 20 to 15 percent.

“We need more taxpayers who pay less tax,” is the ÖVP leader’s credo. Nehammer also wants to make it easier for those who do not work full-time because they have taken on care or childcare duties.

Unemployment benefits: Funding needs to be restructured
The ÖVP would also like to see a reform of the tax system. It wants to implement a path to reduce indirect labor costs by 0.5 percentage points annually by 2030. This should be achieved by reducing contributions to unemployment insurance (the financing of unemployment benefits should be restructured from the perspective of the ÖVP) and by transferring part of the employer-financed contributions of the Family Burden Equalization Fund (FLAF) to the federal budget.

Nehammer wants a return to the social market economy
In the ‘Economics’ chapter – here the ÖVP is currently only talking about a ‘rough draft’ – Nehammer would like to see a ‘regime change in Austria’s economic policy’. It is necessary to turn away from the interventionism and statism of the past four years of crisis and thus from a return to the social market economy. According to reports, the goal is to reduce subsidies and rely instead on guarantees and incentives.

Last year, Nehammer focused on climate protection in his speech
Nehammer kicked off plans for Austria with a “speech on the future of the nation” in March 2023. At the time, he focused on climate protection, which was mainly interpreted as a declaration of war against his coalition partner, the Greens. The ÖVP boss, among other things, opposed an end to combustion engines and called Austria the “car country par excellence”.

Nehammer fought the ‘doomsday madness’ of the ‘climate glue’ with confidence in technology and progress, defended the Austrian Schengen veto against Bulgaria and Romania and promised a five-year halving of social assistance for newcomers to the country. “My goal is for all Austrians to belong to the owning class,” he also said, promising a property offensive by providing housing subsidies.

Source: Krone

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