“We don't have an income problem, we have a cost problem”

A budget deficit 2,7 Or. 2.8 percent over the years 2024 And 2025: So it was Finance Minister Markus Brunner (ÖVP) Still predicted in December 2023. The Finance Committee, which monitors the republic's debt, presented different figures this week.

The budget deficit for 2024 and 2025 will rise again above the permissible Maastricht limit of three percent. Christoph BadeltWIFO Boss and Chairman of Finance Council viz 3.4 percent This year or so 3,2 percent 2025.

Brunner defended Friday evening ZiB2 His ministry's statistics: In December, finance experts, including economists from Wifo, IHS and international organizations, saw the deficit at less than three percent. Brunner notes World economyThis would have contributed to the change.

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Meanwhile, experts from the Finance Ministry have also revised the deficit for this year. 2.9 percent. This value will soon be reported to the EU Commission.

No money for election candy

“One percent less growth means 0.5 percent more deficit,” says Brunner, referring to the economy's effect on the deficit. That's why we ended it Home collection Launched to develop industry that “supports 350,000 jobs”.

To rebalance the budget, they want it Expenses page Analyze: “We don't have an income problem, but a cost problem,” says Brunner. Finance Minister agrees with Wifo boss Badelt that there is no money for “electoral sweets” and that “entitlement” must be reduced. For example, savings can be made at the state level Financing: “Our funding ratio is higher than the European average.” A fix would “bring savings of around 3.6 billion euros every year.” However, money needs to be spent “properly” to stimulate the economy.

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Cost reduction for pensions is essential

die Increase in pension 9.7 percent in the previous year – and they are loud ZiB2 A quarter of government spending – Brunner defends: Increases 'appropriate' due to high inflation. Nevertheless, one should consider how expenses can be reduced, for example by starting to retire. Brunner calls out Tax incentivesOne A reduction in social security contributions and A Adjust True to the law Retirement Age. “One month's adjustment would save 200 million euros a year,” the finance minister said.

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Discussion of FMA employer

A current address Chairman of the Financial Markets Commission (FMA), Brunner emphasized his qualifications: “Müller (Edward, reference) has been appointed as FMA president, there is no need to remove him,” the study said. In early April, Mueller was questioned by the parliamentary COFAG-U committee about Cigna Group's tax practices. Interference is suspected because Mueller denied being head of the Finance Ministry's division from 2015 to 2018. Rene Benko He intervened and insisted that he had misunderstood the then General Secretary Thomas Schmidt.

On Tuesday, his position was advertised again in the Republic's digital official gazette. His contract actually runs until July 2025, but Brunner hopes to “fill the position before the next government is formed” so that there are no “games” and no “vacancy”. It also makes sense to advertise a post equivalent to the four top posts of the National Bank. The opposition had earlier criticized this and termed the latter a scam.

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