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Vienna, 11 November 2011 Budget 2012 - Green light from Budget Committee Fekter: Austria's triple-A rating not at risk

On 10 November 2011, the Austrian National Assembly's Budget Committee gave the 2012 budget the green light. After five days of deliberations, including consideration of the proposed amendment (expansion of the district heating and district cooling network), the majority of members voted in favour of the Federal Finance Act presented by the government.

Specifically, according to the draft budget, revenues of EUR 64.41 billion and expenditures of EUR 73.58 billion are estimated. This corresponds to a federal deficit of 2.6% of GDP – calculated according to the Maastricht criteria. The aggregate government deficit is forecast at 3.2%. The debt ratio is expected to rise to 74.6% in 2012, but after peaking in 2013 it should fall back to 74.4% by 2015.

In response to discussions over Austria's credit standing, within the framework of the Budget Committee, Finance Minister Dr Maria Fekter vehemently rejected any form of "apocalyptic statement" concerning the stability of Austria's triple-A rating. "Austria boasts excellent employment statistics, consumer demand is positive, tax revenues are growing and the consolidation programme is being constantly over-fulfilled," affirmed Fekter, declaring that the present draft budget had been prepared adopting a conservative approach, and the stability of Austrian government finances were not jeopardized by any additional risks. "The triple-A rating is safe."

On 16 November 2011, the National Assembly will take up the budget deliberations, with voting on the budget scheduled for 18 November 2011.