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Austrian government seeks balanced budget in 2019

Europe
21.03.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Vienna (dpa) - Austria is aiming for its first balanced budget next year after six decades of deficits, Finance Minister Hartwig Loeger said in parliament on Wednesday.

With the help of Austria‘s healthy economic growth and savings in public administration spending, the right-wing government wants to create a surplus of 541 million euros (632 million dollars) in 2019.

"We are entering into a new era," the minister said. "We are starting to end debt-based policies."

This year, Austria will still spend more than it gathers in taxes, leading to an estimated deficit of 2.16 billion euros, Loeger said in his budget speech.

The coalition between conservatives and the far right plans to increase spending on families, education and science and to expand the police force in the coming years.

To balance these measures, the cabinet wants to raise the effective retirement age, reduce the number of public servants and cut funds for asylum seekers in reaction to fewer arrivals.

With its balanced budget programme, Austria will approach the eurozone‘s debt target of 60 per cent of gross domestic product by 2022, down from this year‘s 74.5 per cent, Loeger said.

 

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