Austria tightens belt

Austria News Briefs

An austerity package seeks to raise €26.5 billion in new taxes and cuts by 2016, affecting workers in both the public and private sector and the military.

The “savings package” announced 10 Feb. includes raising the retirement threshold from 37.5 to 40 years of completed work, a pay-freeze for civil servants in 2013, and wage cuts of up to 5% for military personnel, according to the Austrian Press Agency (APA).

Further measures involve a small reduction in the number of MPs and reforms in the health sector.

Opposition parties argued that the package lacked real reform of the bureaucracy, and the President of the Court of Audit (Rechnungshof), Josef Moser, criticised that citizens will have to bear the brunt of the savings.

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