In the special session, the opposition used the opportunity to criticize the government’s anti-inflation package in detail. And not only on the points that were specifically discussed in the National Council – for example the climate bonus and cost-of-living compensation of 500 euros for all adults and 250 euros for each child in October. There are also one-time payments of 300 euros for the unemployed, those on minimum pension or with study grants in the summer or 180 euros for family benefits in August.
Rather, the MPs demanded what they felt was missing. SPÖ and FPÖ measures that acutely reduce prices, and the Neos again a retrospective and complete abolition of cold progression.
According to the SPÖ, the government ducks away
The special session had become necessary so that the deadline after the resolutions in the National Council and then in the Federal Council until the announcement allowed money to flow in the summer. All parties had set the date together. Nevertheless, FPÖ club chairman Herbert Kickl submitted a request for a postponement – until Chancellor Karl Nehammer, who was at the EU summit on the accession status of Ukraine and Moldova, was back. After a call to order – Kickl had degraded Nehammer as a “Brussels noble extras” – it was about the real issue: the package.
SPÖ club chairwoman Pamela Rendi-Wagner said that the government is ducking away, as it was in Corona management, even with proposals such as reducing taxes on energy, “which eleven other countries in Europe are already doing”: “Not a single price will be reduced by one cents are going down, not electricity, not gas, not food prices.” According to Rendi-Wagner, a cancellation of VAT on electricity, gas, fuel and groceries or a price cap on rents would be “an urgent emergency brake, why don’t you do that?”
The fact that the SPÖ is proposing a mineral oil tax cut, which, as can be observed in Germany, does not go down well with the population, is a “bad joke, these are voodoo proposals” for ÖVP club chairman August Wöginger.
Kickl: “You don’t do anything about the price of petrol”
FPÖ boss Kickl again received a call for order in his speech on inflation. In terms of content, his criticism was similar to that of the SPÖ: “They are doing nothing to lower even a single price.” In addition to the lack of a reduction in fees – for which the federal government is not responsible, but above all the states – Kickl criticized the fact that the price of petrol was not reduced: “Go down with the prices. The population deserves that.”
Wöginger left the reply to his counterpart at the Greens, club chairwoman Sigrid Maurer: “Mr. Kickl, as someone who sits on Putin’s lap, you don’t need to get upset about others who are said to be hanging on some coattail. You were the selfie- Hunters in front of the Kremlin.” She also recalled the assertion by former FPÖ Social Affairs Minister Beate Hartinger-Klein that 150 euros a month was enough money to live on. “The 180 euros for family allowance alone are more than that.”
Neos criticize measures with the “watering can”
Neos vice club boss Nikolaus Scherak demanded separate votes, his party saw accurate points, such as payments for low earners. But: “Unfortunately, it’s also a package of vouchers, bonuses and one where money is distributed with the watering can – and that’s wrong.”
MPs from the ÖVP and the Greens would criticize the SPÖ and FPÖ for their populist proposals. “It’s exactly the same thing you do with your climate and anti-inflation bonus, that’s populist – and you’re also fueling inflation.”
Sherak again called for the immediate and retrospective abolition of cold progression and tabled a motion for a resolution. Because this part, which at 15 to 20 billion euros makes up the majority of the 28 billion euros in the government package, is still waiting for implementation over the summer.
ÖAAB-FCG wants to skim profits
Inflation was also an issue at the general meeting of the Chamber of Labor in Innsbruck. In the workers’ parliament, the ÖVP parliamentary group of the trade union, the ÖAAB-FCG and the social democratic parliamentary group FSG spoke out in favor of skimming off unjustified profits from energy companies – as the SPÖ leader Rendi-Wagner also called for in parliament – and a poverty-proof welfare state.
The general meeting also calls for a rent freeze and measures to reduce energy, fuel and food prices.