Budget – climate bonus higher than eco tax



It is at the heart of the budget for 2022 and for the following years: the eco-social tax reform, with the planned CO from July 1st next year2– Pricing for climate and environmental offenders. However, when viewed in total, Austrians are not burdened more by the eco-tax. Because the regional climate bonus anchored in return costs the state more than income from CO until 20252Price is expected.

Parliament’s budget service draws attention to this fact in its current analysis of the 2022 state budget estimate by Finance Minister Gernot Blümel (ÖVP) and the financial path in the following years. From today, Tuesday, the budget debate in the National Council begins in the House with the budget accompanying law and the budgets for the supreme organs. After three days, the decision in plenary is scheduled for Thursday.

1.8 billion euros additional expenditure by 2025

In their 140-page assessment of the budget including tax reform, the budget service experts give reasons why the state compensation for private households will be higher than the burden of the planned CO2-Price on emissions. In total, this will result in additional expenditure of 1.8 billion euros by 2025.

The overall higher relief for private households is due, on the one hand, to the fact that part of the burden is caused by the CO2-Price abroad affects – through “tank tourism” and other exports, the budget service determines. On the other hand, budgeted relief measures such as the climate bonus and the reimbursement for agriculture are “overall higher than the pollution caused by the CO2-Duty “, is stated in detail in the budget analysis.

In the federal financial framework, a total of 6.4 billion euros are budgeted for the relief measures in the period from 2022 to 2025. In contrast, the expected income from the CO2Tax amount to 4.6 billion euros. The bottom line is a “loss deal” for the finance minister of 1.8 billion euros in this period. Therefore, this part of the eco-social tax reform is not revenue-neutral in the period under review, but increases the general government deficit, according to the study. However, it is admitted: In the sense of a higher acceptance of CO2-Price could make this “reasonable”.

However, 2025 is seen as a turning point. Because then the income from the CO2-Prices exceed expenses for the climate bonus by 200 million euros.

A question mark for the 2022 budget, however, is how the corona lockdown for unvaccinated people imposed on Monday by the turquoise-green federal government will affect the economy and thus tax revenue. The decisive factor will be how long this restriction is necessary and whether there must be even stricter measures to combat the corona pandemic.

The fixed point of the ecological tax reform and thus also of the budget plan until 2025 are tax relief. These include increasing the family bonus from 1,500 to 2,000 euros per child and year and lowering the wage and income tax rates from 35 to 30 percent and from 42 to 40 percent from July 1, 2022. The overall relief through lower tariff levels of 2.75 billion Euro seems “plausible” to Parliament’s budget service. The higher family bonus brings a further 600 million euros in tax relief.

Doubts about the level of relief for low incomes

According to the finance and tax package from Finance Minister Blümel, people with lower incomes of 1,100 to 2,500 euros gross per month should benefit from a gradual reduction in health insurance contributions of up to 1.7 percentage points. The government expects a total relief of 600 million euros in 2022, and a total relief of 1.2 billion euros in 2025. However, these amounts seem too high to the budget service. He justifies this with the fact that the lowering of the contributions to the health insurance leads to higher burdens in the wage tax, with which the state gets some of the money back.


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