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Finance Minister Müller: "A sustainable budget policy will benefit everyone"

At the current session of the Austrian National Council on Tuesday, 2 July, on the subject of a "sustainable budget policy", in his address, Austrian Finance Minister Eduard Müller declared as sustainable "a federal budget which is balanced at least throughout the economic cycle, where the state does not spend more than it receives and is thus not functioning at the expense of subsequent generations".

In order to achieve this objective, in addressing Austria's lawmakers, he cited two central elements: "Firstly, strict budget execution in the context of daily administrative operations, and secondly, a sense of responsibility and proportion when adopting new measures".

He went on: "I perceive here the need for me to assume responsibility as budget watchdog. However, this responsibility does not place me in a judgemental role, but requires me to analyse and describe what is and what is not already priced into the various budget instruments. As Minister of Finance, I would however once again like to make an offer to you and therefore to all Austrians, that we should not delay in submitting measures planned in this house to an impact analysis, and set out the consequences in a clear and transparent manner." Müller added that political assessment and decision-making would of course lie within the sphere of responsibility of lawmakers, and he perceived his role as being that of ensuring that the foundations of their decision-making are as valid as possible.

Mr Müller also remarked that the "debt brake" under debate could potentially be a central strategic instrument of management and control by the legislative over the executive. "A country's best source of revenue is its thrift. Only in this way can we succeed, in 2019, in our desired objective, as adopted in this house, of achieving a balanced federal budget for the first time since 1954. Not for its own sake, or as an end in itself, but as a delivered promise, by which the fears of the older generation can be dispelled and the expectations of our children can be fulfilled," concluded Müller.

2 July 2019

Photo: Parlamentsdirektion / Johannes Zinner