For the first time in a long time, Corona is no longer likely to dominate the coming year. The focus is instead on inflation in the face of multiple crises, so the year 2023 will bring higher energy prices and high salary and pension increases due to inflation. A new feature is the automatic annual adjustment of social benefits, but driving a car will also become more expensive. Waste will be collected more uniformly, and animal welfare in agriculture will become stricter. The following is an overview of the most critical changes in Austria.
Wages rise sharply: Record inflation will bring record salary increases in the coming year. Employees in the primary industries will receive at least seven percent more. The reason for this is inflation, which has been fueled by various crises and is expected to be around 6.5 percent next year, according to Wifo.
Pensions will be increased – and there will be another bonus: Pensions will be increased by at least 5.8 percent next year. Except for so-called luxury pensioners (more than 5850 euros), everyone will be compensated for the inflation of 5.8 percent calculated between August 2022 and July 2021. In addition, there is a socially graduated one-off payment, which is to be distributed in March: Depending on the pension level, one will receive between 329 and 500 euros – here, luxury pensioners will also cash in, but they will get the least.
All social benefits will be increased automatically: Starting in 2023, those social benefits that have not yet been so will be automatically adjusted to inflation year by year. The previous loss in value of benefits will, therefore, no longer apply. In 2023, this will include sickness, rehabilitation and reintegration benefits, retraining benefits, childcare benefits and family time bonuses, family allowance, multiple child supplement and child deduction, school start allowance and care allowance. The study allowance will follow in September. Benefits are expected to increase by 5.8 percent in 2023.
Bonus, care reform: From the middle of the year, a prize will be paid to family members providing care – subject to certain conditions. Among other things, one must have cared for a close relative in the same household for at least one year. The bonus amount is set at 1500 euros per year (in 2023, however, only 750 euros will be paid out). Night work will also be upgraded for caregivers, and access to the sixth week of vacation will be easier. The salary bonus for care workers will be paid out again in 2023.
Dad month brings more money: The family time bonus (dad month) will no longer be counted towards later childcare allowance payments from 2023. This means that if childcare allowance is collected after the dad month, 700 euros will no longer be deducted. In the case of the child benefit itself, the additional earnings limit will also be increased from 16,200 to 18,000 euros per year.
Abolition of cold progression: Announced in June, the abolition of cold progression will come into force on January 1. Like many other measures presented this year, it aims to cushion the effects of inflation. Two-thirds of the revenue from the cold progression will automatically flow back to taxpayers in the future. The final third is intended to ease the burden on lower incomes. Among other things, companies will see a reduction in corporate income tax in 2023.
Mother-Child Pass to be extended: The Mother-Child Pass is set to expand benefits for pregnant women and children, including the integration of a new advisory service to give parents-to-be and new parents a compass for the latest phase of their lives. From 2024, the mother-child passport will also be digitized and renamed the parent-child passport.
Focus on protection against violence: The focus of women’s policy in the coming year will again be on guard against violence. A large part of the women’s budget, which totals 24.3 million euros next year, will go toward measures against violence.
“Cancer vaccination” for children: From February 2023, the HPV vaccination, which is effective against a total of six types of cancer, will be given free of charge until the child reaches the age of 21. The focus is on the period from the completed ninth to the twelfth year of life, in which, according to the Ministry of Health, the effectiveness against HP viruses and later tumours is best. Typically, such a vaccination costs around 200 euros.
Only prescription fee for the flu vaccination: Starting in the fall of 2023, the flu vaccination will be offered at a significantly lower cost for everyone over 18 throughout Austria. Only the prescription fee will then have to be paid.
- source: krone.at/picture: