Start Austria The Austrian government is tightening the conditions for state social benefits

The Austrian government is tightening the conditions for state social benefits

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Asylum seekers should in future only get the full minimum income of 863 euros a month, if they have sufficient knowledge of German and have demonstrated their willingness to integrate by attending value courses, said Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) and Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache (FPÖ) in Vienna With. „German is a key to minimum income,“ said Strache.

The black-and-blue government of ÖVP and the right-wing populist FPÖ wants to reduce the benefit for recognized refugees who did not meet the requirements by 300 euros. There should also be less money for families with several children. For third-country nationals and EU citizens, the government plans a five-year waiting period.

The number of recipients of this service was reported to last at 308,000 people. According to Kurz, this number has risen sharply since 2012, with half of the recipients also coming from abroad and a large part of them living in Vienna again. „The goal must be to stop immigration into our social system with these measures, which is one of the big problems in recent years,“ said Vice-Chancellor Strache.
„Possibly bad condition for integration“

The refugee agency UNHCR criticized the draft. Refugees threatened to slip far below the poverty line. „This is a very bad condition for their integration,“ said Christoph Pinter, head of UNHCR Austria. Since German courses were only provided after a positive asylum decision, the detour via the required language skills meant a hidden waiting period for refugees. „The proposed regulation would therefore not be consistent with the Geneva Refugee Convention, which provides for equal treatment of refugees with Austrians“, argues the refugee relief organization.

However, according to the law of the government, which should come into force in April 2019, certain groups may expect an increase. These include people with disabilities, single parents and those in need of care.

In general, the ÖVP and FPÖ claim to increase the incentive to take up employment for all recipients of minimum income protection. The parliamentary leader of the ÖVP calculated that a family of six in Vienna could currently count on 2,227 euros net per month plus family allowance (child allowance) for state support. This was significantly more than many working people earned, said Kurz. Through a new graduation, this family would now come to 1,640 euros net plus family allowance. Unemployment will continue to fall as a result of this measure.

The reorganization of social benefits on a nationwide level is one of the core projects of the right-wing conservative government in Vienna. She has repeatedly formulated her reflections on this, but they also had to adapt under the impression of court decisions. So far, the design of the minimum income was directed by the nine federal states.