Austrian Times RSS FeedsLike the Austrian Times Facebook page!Follow us on Twitter!


Events for October
M T W T F S S
29 30 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
Add your event FREE

Today

Videos


BurgKino

Pub Quiz everyTuesday at Johnny's Pub

Popular in Austria


Cosmo&Nanu

Kurz tax idea causes a stir

People’s Party (ÖVP) State Secretary Sebastian Kurz is under fire following a suggestion how Austria’s taxation system could be reformed.

Kurz – who heads the ÖVP’s youth organisation – told the ORF’s Ö1 radio news programme yesterday (Mon) that a certain amount of tax revenues should go where people want it to. He claimed such a restructure might help improving the image of Austria’s politicians. Kurz said a similar system was already in force in some regions of Switzerland. Residents of these areas were trying to evade paying taxes less often, according to Kurz. The areas which use that kind of tax structure were also economically stronger than other regions of Switzerland, Kurz said, adding that he could imagine a law affecting 10 per cent of tax earnings this way.

The ÖVP’s state secretary for integration claimed that people would certainly appreciate knowing where their money went and how it was used. His appeal did not find acclaim among Austria’s Social Democrats (SPÖ). SPÖ General Secretary Günther Kräuter – whose faction forms a government coalition with the conservative ÖVP – said the state secretary’s idea was "ill-conceived". He warned from "wrong developments" if it became legally active.

The opposition parties were less reluctant in their reactions. Werner Kogler, the Green Party’s vice chief, branded the ÖVP Vienna deputy leader’s ideas as "first class populism". Kogler made aware that many Austrians were paying no income taxes due to their low salaries. The Green Party parliament delegate (MP) said these social classes would be kept from any kind of civic participation in decision-making of such regard while people who earned more could suddenly determine how Austria spent some of its tax revenues.

Political scientist Peter Filzmaier said it was possible that most Austrians endorsed the tax reform ideas of Kurz. Filzmaier pointed out that people had the feeling of paying excessive taxes anyway. He also made aware of the rising interest in getting directly involved in political decision-making procedures. Especially the Freedom Party (FPÖ) is strongly engaged in trying to convince the government of a reform of the law for "more direct democracy".

The right-wing party abandoned its negotiations about a constitutional debt brake earlier this year after it realised that the ÖVP would not support its appeal for a quick change of the federal law. The FPÖ wanted to lower the bureaucratic burdens for people interested in organising referendums. The party of Heinz-Christian Strache said it would not support the government coalition’s debt brake plan without a change of the law towards the Swiss model of high civic participation.

Only a few days after the debt limit discussions between ÖVP and FPÖ ended fruitless, ÖVP chief Michael Spindelegger asked Kurz to develop a strategy of how a plus in democracy could be achieved. The vice chancellor said he asked Kurz to find out how young Austrians’ interest in politics could be increased. The ÖVP boss claimed many young people would engage locally but had no interest in federal political developments.

His decision to assign Kurz to create a democracy concept was widely seen as an attempt of keeping all options open for the time after the next general election. Spindelegger refused to rule out a coalition with the FPÖ – which is accused of having xenophobic policies – after the ballot of 2013. The parties cooperated in a government between 2000 and 2005 before the ÖVP teamed up for another two years with the Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ).

Austrian Times


Are you on Facebook? Like the Austrian Times on Facebook and win great prizes!


Cosmo and Nanu
ORF Watch

Related articles: political scandals

  1. Drachma reintroduction 'would mean social explosion'

    » General News 2012-05-31

    A renowned economist has warned from reintroducing the drachma in Greece.

  2. EC warns debt-ridden Austria

    » General News 2012-05-31

    Austria has been criticised for its high public debts.

  3. Graz coalition collapses

    » General News 2012-05-31

    People’s Party (ÖVP) Graz Mayor Siegfried Nagl has ended his faction’s partnership with the Greens.

more related articles tagged "political scandals"

Related articles: crisis

  1. Drachma reintroduction 'would mean social explosion'

    » General News 2012-05-31

    A renowned economist has warned from reintroducing the drachma in Greece.

  2. EC warns debt-ridden Austria

    » General News 2012-05-31

    Austria has been criticised for its high public debts.

  3. Property prices keep climbing

    » Business 2012-05-31

    A real estate expert has expressed concerns about property prices in Austria.

more related articles tagged "crisis"

Tag cloud:
government  Social  Secretary  vice  Ouml  coalition  Kogler  democracy  reformed  paying  rsquo  Kurz  taxes  ndash  debt  Austria  participation  Filzmaier  civic  Spindelegger

Latest News

 

Halloween At The Zoo
Pumpkin pie might be the order of the day for people this Halloween but now zoo animals are also getting in on the act.

Baby Naked Mole Rats Born In Vienna
With their pink hairless bodies and fangs for front teeth, these baby naked mole rats were never going to win any cuteness contests at Schonbrunn Zoo in the Austrian capital Vienna.

Jihad Girls Gunpoint Retraction Of Desire To Go Home
Austrian anti-terrorism police believe that an interview given to a French magazine allegedly with one of the two teenage girls who fled to Syria to join in the jihad was probably carried out at gunpoint.

Get Shorty As Confused Bald Ibis Gets Lost Again
A rare bald Ibis that seems to have a different sense of direction to her fellow birds has once again had to be rescued after getting stuck trying to find a different route to the southern Italian feeding ground.

Alpine Trains Venture Into Space As The Final Frontier
Austria’s national railway line the OeBB has raised eyebrows after offering themed toilets including one that is supposed to "look and smell like outer space".

MEP caught In Brit papers Fraud Probe Jailed
A corrupt MEP caught by a British newspaper offering to propose amendments to EU laws in exchange for 100,000 euros a year has been given a three-year-jail term.

Vienna Jihad Girls Want To Come Home
The two Austrian teenage girls who became ‘poster girls’ for the jihad in Syria are now desperate to come home after getting completely disillusioned with their new lifestyles.

Mega-Station Opens
There was a festival atmosphere as Bundespresident Heinz Fischer opened Vienna's new Hauptbahnhof Friday morning.

Apple Truck Causes Traffic Jam
When 24 tonnes of apples are catapulted across a road it can only mean a jam.

Farmer Cleared Over Wolf Shooting
Furious animal rights campaigners have accused an Austrian farmer of lying after he shot dead a wolf that he claimed he thought was a fox.

 


Mala Vrata

The most popular stories –
last 7 days



Don't moan alone, the Ombudsman Investigates.

Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.

Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.


Austrian Zimmers