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Immigration to cause massive increase in benefit costs
Austria saw a record 90,000 people apply for asylum last year. Photo: UNHCR

Immigration to cause massive increase in benefit costs

The Local · 27 Sep 2016, 08:58

Published: 27 Sep 2016 08:58 GMT+02:00

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The Austrian weekly magazine Profil reports that instead of leading people out of poverty and social decline, many people on social welfare slip into it more deeply according to a recent study.

The news magazine writes that migrants are the main factor for the increase in the number of long-term guaranteed minimum income recipients.

The magazine reports on a comprehensive study by the Austrian Institute of Economic Research, which was commissioned by the city of Vienna.

The study reports that two-thirds of recipients were dependent on social benefits for more than 13 consecutive months. Only nine percent had made it into permanent employment.

A forecast for 2017 results in an increase of 35 percent in social benefits since 2014, the year before the outbreak of the refugee crisis. Without the newly arrived migrants the raise in social benefits would only be 15 percent according to the institute.

The study writes:  "The prospects of employment for migrants are particularly unfavourable."

The Krone newspaper has reported on what it sees as the abuses of social welfare by migrants and refugees. They mentioned the example of a man who arrived with his wife and five children, who together receive €3,300 per month on benefits.

An unemployed migrant couple with 11 children who have lived in Vienna for years without working earned €5,200 per month in child benefits.

According to Krone, benefits are also being claimed for refurbishing furniture, the security deposit for rental apartments, and a building subsidy for new homes.

The city councillor responsible for social welfare, Sonja Wehsely, said she is prepared to make a compromise. "One can ask the question which integration services must be adopted in order to receive the full guaranteed income... New answers must be found."

Politicians in Vienna and across Austria are currently discussing an overhaul of social benefits.

Story continues below…

Story courtesy of Central European News.

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