Blümel: Turnover loss bonus increased for March

Just four clicks to claiming a total of up to EUR 80,000 per business in March – and employees granted short-time working bonus

"For a year now, we have been standing up with all our might against the impact of the crisis, and have set up numerous forms of assistance so as to support businesses as effectively as possible. In total, to date we have pledged or paid out over EUR 33 billion in assistance. As a percentage of GDP, Austria's expenditure is near the top of European rankings. In direct assistance alone, in Austria we have paid out over 1.3% of GDP, while in Germany, the figure is just 0.74%, and in Denmark 0.67% of GDP," declared Finance Minister Gernot Blümel.

Assistance works – Austria is successfully getting through the crisis

According to calculations by the Austrian Institute for SME Research in 2020, without assistance, around 50% of businesses would be loss-making, whereas with assistance the figure is only 27%. Through the assistance provided, the number of businesses presumed to be insolvent has been reduced by over 60%, from 22,000 to approximately 8,500. Through short-time working, at the height of the crisis, over 1 million jobs were secured.

In terms of economic performance, at -6.6%, Austria got through 2020 better than many had lately been forecasting. Above all compared with other tourist destinations, so far Austria has got through the crisis significantly better, although winter tourism has been almost entirely non-existent, and other countries tend to depend more on tourism in the summer season.

One-off increase in turnover loss bonus

In order to ensure once more that liquidity is swiftly made available to businesses in March, the turnover loss bonus is being increased for this period.

•    Instead of a 15% bonus, applications can now be made for 30%. Together with the 15% advance on the fixed cost subsidy, this means that 45% of turnover losses can be claimed under the turnover loss bonus scheme.

•    In addition, for this month, the upper limit on the bonus is being raised from EUR 30,000 to EUR 50,000. As a result, turnover loss bonus applications totalling up to EUR 80,000 may be made.

Applications for the increased turnover loss bonus can made for March starting from 16 April, using FinanzOnline.
    
Short-time working bonus

While they are engaged in short-time working, employees also accrue holiday days, and these incur costs for businesses. In order to cover these, employers that have had to remain closed since November will receive a one-off payment of up to EUR 825 net in the form of short-time working bonus. This covers mainly the sectors of hospitality, accommodation, and theatres. Employees in organizations which take up this opportunity will receive a one-off payment of EUR 175 net from their employer. Including taxes and other deductions, the short-time working allowance will total up to EUR 1,100 per employee.

Minister Blümel summarised the situation thus: "Through the turnover loss bonus, in February we launched a very effective and broad-based assistance programme. In the first three weeks, we had already paid out a sum of EUR 173 million on over 24,000 applications. The turnover loss bonus is now been increased for the month of March and, as a result, it will be possible to apply for turnover loss bonus plus an advance payment on the fixed cost subsidy totalling up to EUR 80,000."