Blümel: EUR 1.3 billion already paid out to municipalities To date, EUR 600 million has been paid out from the first municipal package for infrastructure projects – projects published on Finance Ministry website.
The coronavirus crisis is having economic effects at the level of the federal government, the federal states, and the municipalities. Since the beginning of the pandemic, losses of revenue have been straining the budgets of all municipalities. With the EUR 1 billion municipal package for investment and a second rescue package in the sum of EUR 1.5 billion, the federal government is lending a hand to the municipalities in a total sum of EUR 2.5 billion. "To date, EUR 1.3 billion has been paid out to Austria's cities and municipalities. Some of these funds are flowing directly into infrastructure renewal. Through this, we are securing investment and jobs in the region," explains Finance Minister Gernot Blümel. Of the EUR 1.3 billion, EUR 600 million has gone into infrastructure projects from the first package, and EUR 700 million represents non-project-linked grants from the second municipal package.
Since 1 July 2020, municipalities have been able to apply for investment funds from the federal government under the Municipal Investment Act 2020 (1st Municipal Package). So far, 4 500 applications have been approved, of which 98% have already been paid out. Thus, in total, EUR 600 million has been paid out to Austrian municipalities for various infrastructure projects. Top of the list in terms of applications approved is Lower Austria (1 194), followed by Upper Austria (1 159) and then Styria (617). The average time from receipt of an application to disbursement of funds is 29 days.
Through the EUR 1 billion package, a range of different projects is being subsidised, from extending broadband provision, to bridge renovation. Particular support is also being given to environmental projects, such as the construction of photovoltaic plants. Due to a newly-created opportunity under statute, all projects approved to date are published on the website of the Federal Ministry of Finance. They range from an annex for a children's nursery in Lustenau, through broadband expansion in Kirchdorf, Tyrol, to a new recycling centre in Hallein and a primary school in the 22nd district of Vienna. "Every citizen can check whether their own municipality has already drawn on their eligible funding, and this creates a maximum of transparency. I call on municipal mayors to submit the relevant applications and thereby create investment and jobs in their region," adds Blümel.
Subsidy applications can be made until 31 December. The complete list of all projects approved to date may be found at the end of this linked page.