The Austrian government is planning to reform the family benefits system of the country. As a result, they will pay less after more than 100 thousand children. Victims of the new regulation will be mostly the non-Austrian EU workers, among them tens of thousands of Hungarians.
In fact, family benefits are uniform in the country at present: each child receives 121 EUR between the ages of 3 and 9. This sum contains not only the family allowance but also other items. In contrast, a Hungarian kid receives only approximately 12,200 HUF (EUR 38) from the state – reported index.hu.
According to the data, the Austrian state budget
pays family benefits for 38,700 Hungarian children
which is the highest number in the region. The Hungarians are followed by the Slovaks with 27 thousand, then Romanians and Poles with 14 and 15 thousand. Altogether, Austria pays family benefits for 125 thousand children whose parents work in the country. The overall sum of this is 15 million EUR.
The Austrian government decided immediately after it took office that they would modify the method with which they calculate family benefits for children not living in the country. The new system will take into consideration whether a child lives in a country where the
cost of living is lower than in Austria or not.
If so, they will receive lower family benefits while if the cost of living is higher than in Austria, they will get higher sums. The parliament accepted the new regulation in spring this year.
Heute.at, an Austrian news portal, did research regarding the issue, and they found that Bulgarians will lose the most. Their family allowance will decrease by 55 pc to 55 EUR. Romanians will lose 51 while Poles 50 pc. Hungarians are in the fourth place with 44 pc. This means that from January 1, 2019, on, Hungarian families will get 68.5 EUR per child for their children living in Hungary. If we do the maths, this means that Vienna plans to
save at least 2 million EUR/month on the Hungarian families.
As a result, Hungarians will become the biggest victims of the reform. Interestingly, even after the change, they will get 30 EUR more from Vienna than from the Hungarian state.
According to heute.at, the citizens of eight countries will come off badly. At the same time, the new regulation favours ten countries. However, this comparison is misleading since even though children from Iceland would get 42 pc more money, there are none of them who receive such allowances at present. Moreover, in the new system, 400 children will get more money which means that 124 thousand of them will get less.
As we already reported, due to joint action by the Visegrád Four member states, the European Union will launch a probe into rules adopted by Austria reducing family allowances to children of non-Austrian EU workers.