The Austrian Government negotiates measures against inflation

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The government is currently working on another anti-inflation relief package. Various measures are under discussion. Pretty much fixed are likely to be the postponement of the CO2 price from July to October, the increase in the climate bonus for this year, and the ban on gas heating in new buildings. In addition, the abolition of the cold progression and an increase in social benefits are being negotiated. The pact is expected to be decided as early as next week.

Climate Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) confirmed in the press foyer after the Council of Ministers that, from the Greens’ point of view, the postponement of the CO2 price, the increase of the climate bonus from 100 to 200 euros depending on the housing situation to 250 euros for all and the ban on gas heating in new buildings are on the table and could be decided next week in the National Council. She pointed out that the government had only recently relieved the burden on commuters by increasing the commuter allowance or commuter euro.

Both short-term and long-term structural measures are being negotiated, Gewessler said. She said the government is trying to get the steps into effect as quickly as possible in any case. She did not elaborate on specific content. According to reports, negotiations will initially focus on one-off increases for social benefits such as social assistance, family allowances, and unemployment benefits. The introduction of an annual valorization of those social benefits that are not automatically raised every year will not be feasible before the summer. It was said on the fringes of the Council of Ministers. The abolition of the cold progression would also be too complex to get on track by next week.

Next week, the installation prohibition of gas heaters in the new building could be decided already starting from 2023. That is regulated in the renewable heat law (EEC). According to it, old oil and gas heatings are gradually removed starting from 2025, beginning with the most senior models inserted before 1980. By 2035, there will be a ban on the operation of oil heating systems. And from 2040, this ban is also to apply to gas heating systems.

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