The new Austrian coalition government formed by the centre-right Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) and the far-right Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) decided to modify the family support system in the country, reports Index.hu. If their plans are actually carried out, it will affect 40,000 Hungarian children whose parents work in Austria.
The Austrian government plans to apply different methods to calculate the family allowances of children from the other EU Member States or from other states of the European Economic Area whose parents are registered workers in Austria.
In 2016, the Austrian government paid EUR 273 million worth of family allowances after 132,000 children living in other EU Member States.
With the modification of the system, the Austrian government aims to spare EUR 114 million. This is more than 40% of the amount that was paid in 2016. Family allowances in Austria range between EUR 112-162, and it is given until children reach the age of 19. According to Austrian family minister, Juliane Bogner-Strauß,
it is not sustainable for the Austrian government to pay the same amount of money to families living in countries where the cost of living is significantly lower than in Asutria.
According to Kurier news portal, Hungary will suffer the most due to this modification of the family support system, and the Austrian government expects a strong resistance on Hungary’s part.
In 2016, EUR 80 million out of the aforementioned EUR 273 million was received by Hungarian families who received an average amount of EUR 39 per month. If the modification happens, Austria will spare EUR 33 million on Hungarian families alone.
Hungary is not the only country affected by the parties’ decision. Besides Hungary, Slovakia (EUR 63 million), Poland (EUR 38 million) and Romania (EUR 32 million) will also lose a lot of money.
Interestingly, both of the Austrian parties seem to be in alliance with Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, especially regarding their standpoint in the politics of the Syrian refugee crisis.
Featured image: MTI/EPA/Florian Wieser