Securing jobs: Funds for short-time work increased to €10 bn
Funds for corona short-time work are being increased to €10 bn, controls against abuse carried out
“A very attractive instrument to combat the crisis is corona short-time work. It is a unique model in Europe, and its main purpose is to prevent mass unemployment and ensure that people can keep their jobs. Due to the great demand, we will ramp up the funds for short-time work to €10 bn,” said Finance Minister Gernot Blümel at today’s press conference on location and employment. Short-time work is an important measure for companies and employees, and demand accordingly high. So far, around 1.2 million people are on short-time work. Of the €38 bn aid package, which also includes the funds for the corona short-time work, a total of more then €15 bn in liquidity has already been made available. “We have also ensured that we can support the management of short-time work. On the part of the Ministry of Finance, not only money is provided for this purpose, but also personnel. We have deployed up to 150 staff to the accounting agency to support the Public Employment Service (AMS) in the accounting and payment of short-time work,” said Finance Minister Blümel.
As much goodwill as possible, as much control as necessary
“Times of crisis are not times of lawlessness – of course we want to control exactly what happens with the money, in accordance with our due diligence obligations and our responsibility to the taxpayer. We have heard in recent weeks that there are allegations of misuse, for example of short-time work, and that is why I have asked the Financial Police to carry out priority checks in this regard,” said Blümel. So far, 600 companies have been checked, and the results have also been communicated to the Public Employment Service so that they can be taken into account in the settlement. “We have no sympathy nor tolerance for anyone attempting to enrich himself or herself unlawfully at the expense of the general public during this crisis. As much goodwill as possible, but also as much control as necessary to prevent the possibility of structural abuse,” continued Finance Minister Blümel.
Tax relief – Austria will be back
“After the phase of the health crisis, which we have been able to combat very successfully in Austria, it is important that we make an economic comeback as soon as possible. There are three main focuses here: On the one hand, tax relief for people; next, creating new jobs by easing the burden on the economy; and also promoting the creation of jobs through climate protection and regionalisation measures,” said Finance Minister Blümel. The measures are to be developed in cooperation with the social partners and the Federal countries as well as municipalities and economic researchers. “So that we can achieve an optimum comeback for the Austrian economy and guarantee sufficient jobs and prosperity for the people.”