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ENERGY

How expensive are gas and electricity in Austria right now?

A report by Eurostat shows price increases in the European Union for the first semester of 2022, but how does Austria compare?

A person uses a calculator to work out their taxes
How much money do Austrians spend with energy? (Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash)

In the first half of 2022, average household electricity prices in the EU increased sharply compared with the same period in 2021, from €22.0 per 100 kWh to €25.3 per 100 kWh, according to Eurostat data.

“More recently, wholesale prices for electricity and gas have increased substantially across the EU. Energy and supply costs impacted by the current geopolitical situation, the Russian military aggression in Ukraine, mainly drove the increase”, Eurostat said.

READ ALSO: Reader question: Is travelling to Austria this winter worth it?

The EU’s average electricity price with taxes was €0.2525 per kWh. In Austria, prices were at approximately €0.20, so just about the average in the bloc. In addition, several government measures, including €150 “energy vouchers,” helped contain the prices for household consumers, according to the data.

At least for Austrians, the increase in electricity (1.5 percent when compared to the same period the year before) is nothing compared to the spike in natural gas prices, which were up by 20.6 percent in the first half of 2022 in the Alpine country.

READ ALSO: What are the chances of blackouts in Austria this winter?

Domestic Austrian consumers were still lucky, as other European countries saw much higher increases. For example, in Estonia, prices were up by 154 percent; in Lithuania, by 110 percent; in Bulgaria, by 108 percent. 

 

Austria also had a lower price increase when compared to Germany (24.5 percent) and Italy (40 percent), for example.

Expressed in euros, average household gas prices in the first half of 2022 were €0.0861 per kWh in the European Union. In Austria, prices were €0.0767. Household gas prices in the EU were highest in Sweden (€0.2216 per kWh) and lowest in Hungary (€0.0291 per kWh) in the first half of 2022.

What measures is the government taking?

The energy crisis and rising inflation have undoubtedly affected the lives of people in Austria. However, the federal government has already announced several measures looking to cushion the impacts of the higher cost of living.

Besides “eletricity vouchers” that Austrian households received and could redeem with their power supplier, the government confirmed an electricity price brake, as The Local reported.

The price cap for electricity will last until June 30th 2024, benefiting every household in Austria. The relief should be in place by December 1st, Chancellor Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) told the media.

READ ALSO: Energy crisis: What to do in case of a power outage in Austria

The price of electricity will be subsidised up to a consumption of 2,900 kilowatt hours, the government said. Until that limit, it will cost only ten cents per kilowatt hour – the energy price from before the current energy crisis.

Above that consumption limit, people will have to pay market prices for what they consume.

The Austrian government has also taken some measures announced as part of relief packages with one-off payments and changes in the tax system.

READ ALSO: Klimabonus: Payments complete for the Austria-wide scheme

Additionally, Austria has announced a national campaign to help people save energy and fuel while authorities look to diversify their natural gas suppliers and fill up reserves for the winter ahead. 

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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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