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Costly parliamentary decisions and economic downturn having huge impact on 2020 budget Austria reports 2020 budgetary plan to Brussels – following trend reversal in 2018 and 2019, general government deficit is expected

Each year by 15 October, the Member States of the European Union have to report their budgetary plans for the coming year to Brussels in a so-called "Draft Budgetary Plan". This plan comprises key budget ratios and a forecast of national economic performance. Here, one thing is particularly clear: decisions taken before the election have had a huge impact on the 2020 budget.  

For the coming year, the Austrian federal government anticipates a deficit of EUR 1.2 billion at federal level. For 2020, the Federal Budgetary Framework Act set out a balanced budget according to Maastricht criteria. This deterioration is primarily due to two factors: on the one hand, the measures adopted in Parliament are burdening the budget by way of additional costs totalling EUR 1 billion; on the other hand, levelling off of economic performance over the coming year will lead to lower revenues (- EUR 600 million). At the same time, due to lower interest-rate forecasts and stable employment, there are also positive effects (+ EUR 400 million). 

As a result, Austria is having to report a Maastricht general government deficit to Brussels. This arises from the federal government deficit (-0.30% of GDP) and the surpluses of the Austrian regional governments, local authorities and social-security providers (0.2% of GDP). 

Finance Minister Eduard Müller  

In the 2020 Budgetary Plan, one can see two effects very clearly: first of all, the economic downturn, and secondly, the costly parliamentary decisions taken in July and September. This marks the end of the trend reversal, and for the time being, 2018 and 2019 will remain the only years achieving a general government surplus. We will again have to work hard to create the scope required for the challenges of the coming years. For this reason, I would stick by my appeal to refrain from making any further costly decisions until the new federal government is in office."