Austria: New climate bonus for 2024 now fixed

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This year, the federal government is once again holding out the prospect of a climate bonus. Its amount and the start of payment are the subject of heated debate.

The climate bonus will be paid out for the third time this year. While the second payment wave of the bonus from 2023 is still in progress, the amount of the climate bonus for this year and the start of the payment are currently the subject of negotiations between the coalition government and the Greens.

In principle, the climate bonus is financed by the federal government’s annual revenue from the CO₂ tax. This tax is paid by all companies that import fuels to Austria or produce them domestically. Originally, the basic amount of the climate bonus was 100 euros, with up to 200 euros possible for adults, depending on their place of residence. In 2022, the amount was even doubled by an inflation adjustment.

Last year, the main place of residence or public transport connection determined the amount of the climate bonus. The basic amount for adults was increased to 110 euros (minimum amount) due to the additional income from the CO₂ tax, while the maximum amount rose to 220 euros.

In principle, this system is to remain in place this year – but the windfall could be even bigger in 2024.

In an interview with Federal Chancellor Karl Nehammer published by “Heute”, he reveals that the climate bonus will amount to “at least 120 euros depending on where you live” this year—that would already be an increase of 10 euros on the minimum amount. But experts are convinced that there is room for more.

In this context, Peter Amreich, Chairman of the Commuter Initiative, refers to the recent increase in the CO₂ price to 45 euros per tonne of CO₂, which corresponds to an increase of 38 percent compared to the previous year. This adjustment is already having an impact on fuel and heating oil prices.
“We are therefore urgently calling for a significant increase in the climate bonus for 2024 to the maximum amount of between 150 and 300 euros, depending on where you live,” says Amreich.

The ÖAMTC and the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (Wifo) also support the demand. “In 2023, the CO₂ price rose by eight percent and the climate bonus by ten percent,” explains Wifo expert Claudia Kettner on ORF’s “Mittagsjournal”.

The government does not yet want to reveal too much about this. The Ministry of Climate Protection emphasizes that the actual additional revenue from the CO₂ tax must be awaited, as the bonus will ultimately be financed from this revenue.

The final amount of the climate bonus for 2024 will be negotiated in early summer. The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Climate Action will then announce how high the amount will be. As before, payment will start in September.

  • source: heute.at/picture: klimabonus.gv.at
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