"Taking responsibility for tomorrow - safe in the future"

Finance Minister Magnus Brunner gave his first budget speech in Parliament on 12 October 2022 and presented the draft budget for 2023.

“With this budget, we are taking responsibility for tomorrow. We react to current challenges and invest in the topics of the future. Military, economic, and social security as well as the ecological transformation of the economy and industry are the main priorities. Not only to provide the necessary short-term answers, but also to make targeted investments in areas that will strengthen Austria for the future," explains Finance Minister Brunner.

Uncertain inflation developments and a change in the ECB forecast for the eurozone inflation rate from 0.9% in Q1 2021 to 7.3% in Q3 2022 will be shaped by budgetary challenges. It is therefore clear for Magnus Brunner: "After the crisis, we have to reduce the debt again - not for its own sake, but as a precaution for future crises. The top priority now is to maintain purchasing power. And to give people the security that they can continue to afford their lives. With the abolition of cold progression, the valorisation of social benefits and the reduction of the third tariff level, we are also introducing important structural measures in 2023. Because we cannot afford not to help now!"

We will therefore pay around EUR 23 billion into the budget from 2023 to 2026, with the increase being around EUR 19 billion lower due to the abolition of cold progression. The largest expenditures in this period are in the areas of interest (+ EUR 11.1 billion), pensions (+ EUR 8.9 billion), relief and anti-inflation (+ EUR 7.8 billion), national defence (+ EUR 6.9 billion) and transformation support (+ EUR 4.9 billion). In the same period, deposits will increase by EUR 23.2 billion, with the increase being EUR 18.7 billion lower due to the elimination of cold progression.

The rising government debt must be paid off in the medium and long term in order not to become an insurmountable mountain for future generations. By 2026, the Maastricht deficit should therefore fall from the current 3.5% to 1.6%. Over the same period, we expect the debt ratio to fall from 78.3% in 2023 to 72.5% in 2026.

Powerful relief measures against multiple crises

The federal government has provided a total volume of around 46.5 billion euros to significantly cushion the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic on people and companies. Austria has therefore emerged from the crisis significantly stronger than most other countries. In addition to the Corona crisis, Russia's attack on Ukraine, in addition to immeasurable human suffering on the ground, is causing considerable price increases, not least on the European energy market. Of course, these price increases have a strong financial impact on the population and domestic companies in Austria. "In addition to the measures against inflation that have already been taken, many other reliefs will take effect in the coming year, such as the electricity cost subsidy, the electricity cost brake, the inflation tax credit and the increase in the commuter allowance."

Emphasis on military, economic and social security

The attack on Ukraine also necessitates a security focus in the budget. An additional 5.3 billion euros will be invested in the Austrian Armed Forces by 2026 - this is the largest budget increase to date and the most constant over the years. In addition, an additional 4.9 billion euros are earmarked for ecological transformation by 2026.

Given the current economic situation, another central focus is on supporting families. From 1 January 2023, the family allowance, the multiple child supplement, the childcare allowance, and the family time bonus will be valuated. These measures alone bring around 253 million higher social benefits. For the area of families & Youth, the overall budget will be increased by around EUR 38 billion compared to the previous year.

The requirements in the care sector are also reflected in the calculations. We are making 1.7 billion euros available by 2026 for the implementation of the care reform.

Further and more detailed information can be found in the documents linked above.