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Löger: Joint audit has been taking place in practice for over a decade Scaremongering entirely unwarranted

"Actions speak louder than words," declared Austrian Finance Minister Löger on the subject of a joint audit organization for wage-based taxes and contributions under the direction of the Ministry of Finance.

"Discussions have been ongoing concerning the reform of social security for 40 years. As a reforming government, we are taking action. For this reason too, I consider the current scaremongering to be entirely unwarranted," explained Löger. "I have the impression that civil servants are primarily concerned about their own sphere of influence. By instituting this reform, we are ensuring that people in Austria are better off."

Löger stressed that combining the audit organisations within the Finance Ministry was confirmed as in accordance with the constitution; "We have two expert reports to confirm this. Furthermore, I would point out that a joint audit of all wage-dependent taxes, the so-called "GPLA", has been in existence since 2003. This means that back then, every question and discussion on compliance with the constitution would have needed to be raised."

In response to criticism raised by the Court of Auditors, Löger stated: "Since 2003, tax and social security have been conducting joint audits. Joining together these two functioning systems provides the opportunity to work more efficiently and more effectively over both the medium and the long term, through a standardised, reliable legal interpretation as well as the combining of 19 different access points to form just one."

Löger added that naturally, the new audit unit would continue to be available to social security providers: "Of course, social security providers may request audit services at any time from the new unit," explained Löger. 

22 October 2018