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130 million unclaimed by families

Politicians have started a debate on what to do with 130 million euros of unclaimed cash put aside to help with the cost of childcare for families.

The MPs are agreed that the money should go to families but are now debating how it could be used.

The money was to cover the 2,300 euros a year that can be claimed back in taxes against the cost of having someone to care for children. Terms and conditions of how to apply for the money can be found here https://www.help.gv.at/Portal.Node/hlpd/public/content/37/Seite.370600.html.

One of the problems being tackled is why so much money has not been claimed despite the financial difficulties many families are facing.

Experts say the reasons are many – for example when relatives look after the children there is really an invoice, or the single mother that earns so little anyway that she has no taxes to set it against. Or there is the dad of the family who simply doesn't know that the scheme is available.

The problem is that the money is still there and claimed and now the debate is beginning over what to do with it. Anyone with children under 10, who pays for child care and pays taxes here can claim.

Children's law specialist Michael Rauch said the money should clearly be invested in providing more daycare and nursery places for children.

He believes that the money should be distributed to the regions to invest in childcare infrastructure as they are best placed to know where it should be spent.

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