Austria’s budget deficit needs to be halved, says govt.

06 Jul 2023

The budget deficit in Austria needs to be halved to far below 3% of the country’s GDP by 2024, according to finance minister Magnus Brunner.

He said Austria needs to be on a “sustainable budget path” as the deficit rose to nearly €6 billion during the first five months of the year.

Indeed, between January and May, the government’s budget deficit hit around €5.9 billion, having received around €38.2 billion in revenue with spending at approximately €44 billion, Euractiv reports.

“We want to halve the deficit to put Austria on a sustainable budget path in the medium term. This necessity is also shown by the current budget execution,” the finance minister stated, according to an APA report. 

In addition, Brunner stressed the importance of supporting the European Central Bank (ECB) in efforts to curb inflation. He added the focus should be on long-term development and called for sustainable budgets at a national and European level.

“One doesn’t ruin a budget during crises, but rather when one doesn’t pay attention to sustainable budgets in good times. My goal is, therefore, for Austria’s deficit to be well below 3% of GDP from 2024 onwards,” Brunner stated.

Furthermore, at the end of last month, the European Commission encouraged member states to provide an additional €65.8 billion for the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) until 2027.

The funds will be allocated to provide support to Ukraine, tackle migration issues and boost competition, the report goes on to say.

In regard to Austria, this would mean a further €1.6 billion. However, the country’s finance minister rejected the funding request, claiming that Austria – as a net contributor – was unable to accept an increase in funds.