Austria's U-Turn On Tax Hikes
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Marking a dramatic about-turn, and despite previous – and repeated –
assurances from Austria’s Chancellor and Finance Minister to the contrary,
the government has now finally confirmed that taxes will inevitably have to rise
in order to consolidate the country’s budget.
Although the government has made known its intention to increase taxes in order
to generate an additional EUR1.7bn in revenue, the details pertaining to these
tax measures remain as yet unclear. Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann has,
however, made known that the increased fiscal burden will not be borne by the
Following the recent Council of Ministers meeting held to discuss the country’s
forthcoming budget, the Finance Ministry revealed that the aim of the budget is
to consolidate the public finances by focussing primarily on cuts in expenditure.
To achieve its ambitious targets, the government is planning a 60% cut in spending
and a 40% increase in tax revenue, it noted.
Commenting on the meeting, Austria’s Finance Minister Josef Pröll
announced that the government had laid an important milestone on the road towards
a sustainable future. Regarding future initiatives designed to generate additional
tax revenue for the government, Pröll explained that the details would be finalized
by the autumn. The proposed tax initiatives must be socially acceptable, economically
sound and financially sustainable, the Finance Minister concluded.