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Austria announces it will issue one-off cost of living payments

Austria has announced it will issue one-off payments aimed at offsetting rising inflation costs in the country.

Austria announces it will issue one-off cost of living payments
Crowds walk down the famous shopping street Mariahilferstrasse, in Vienna. Photo: JOE KLAMAR / AFP

Austria’s National Council has announced one-off payments which will ease the current cost of living crisis for certain financially vulnerable groups, Der Standard reported.

At the end of April, pensioners on minimum incomes, long-term recipients of sickness and rehabilitation benefits, the unemployed and unemployment assistance recipients will receive €150.

Separately households that receive minimum income or social assistance and students with study grants will receive €300.

For retired people receiving supplementary allowances, there will be two payments of €150.

With the exception of the liberal party Neos, the opposition was largely in favour of the legislative changes

However, parliamentarians from opposition parties said the one-off payments would not be enough to compensate for high inflation, especially as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine puts further pressure on prices.

SPÖ politician Gabriele Heinisch-Hosek appealed to the government to at least bring forward the payments by a month.

Neos MP Gerald Loacker said that “one-time payments will not help”, as prices will continue to stay high. 

The government, however, was eager to highlight the benefits of the package.

For those without jobs, it will be at least a “small compensation” for increasing energy costs, Labor Minister Martin Kocher (ÖVP), said. 

According to Statistik Austria, inflation rates in Austria reached 5 percent in January 2022, driven by a spike in fuel and household energy prices

This reflects the highest level of inflation since December 1984, Statistik Austria’s head Tobias Thomas told ORF.

Gas prices rose by 41 percent compared to January 2021 and there also steep hikes in the cost of petrol and diesel fuel. Heizöl, which can be used for heating and fuel, saw a 45.8 percent increase over the same period.

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POLITICS

How much do Austrian politicians earn as a monthly salary?

Politicians in Austria are getting a 5.3 percent salary increase in 2023 as inflation rises in the country. So how much will they earn?

How much do Austrian politicians earn as a monthly salary?

The rising inflation rate, which is expected to be at 10.6 percent in November, is reflected in the salaries of politicians in Austria, according to the official gazette of the Wiener Zeitung.

According to Austrian law, all salaries are calculated based on the income of the members of the National Council, the Austrian Parliament. Next year, they will receive €9,873 gross per month – €497 more than their salaries in 2022. The values were rounded to the whole euro amount. 

READ ALSO: How much do you need to earn for a good life in Austria?

So, how much are the leading politicians going to earn as a monthly gross salary in 2023?

  • Bundespräsident: the head of the Austrian State (Federal President) will earn €26,701 per month. Alexander Van der Bellen was reelected to the position and should stay in the job for six more years
  • Bundeskanzler: the head of the Austrian government (Chancellor) will earn €23,840 per month. That’s the salary of Karl Nehammer (ÖVP), who is expected to run for reelection in the next national elections set for 2024
  • Vizekanzler: the current vice-chancellor is Werner Kögler (Greens), and he is set to earn €20,979 from 2023
  • NR-Präsident: this refers to the leader of the National Council (Nationalrat, in German), who earns €20,026. Wolfgang Sobotka (ÖVP) holds the position
  • Landeshauptleute: this German word literally means “main persons of the province”. (Land means country, but it actually refers to the bundesländer, the country’s states or provinces). These are the current governors of the Austrian provinces, such as Michael Ludwig (SPÖ), mayor of the city-state of Vienna. They’ll earn €19,072 per month
  • Ministerin/Minister: Ministers of the federal government, including Health and Social Minister Johannes Rauch (Greens), will earn €19,072 every month
  • Landesrätin/-rat: the provincial councillors should earn €17,771 every month from 2023
  • Staatssekretärin/-sekretär: State secretaries, who play the part of Ministers in the provincial level, will earn €17,165
  • Bundesratsmitglieder: a “member of the Bundesrat”, which is the upper house in the Austrian parliament, will earn €4,936 per month

READ ALSO: Explained: How to understand your payslip in Austria

In Austria, hired employees are paid 14 times per year, with extra salaries ahead of summer holidays and Christmas.

Unless the National Council decides against the pay rise, the increase will come into effect on January 1st 2023.

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