Austria STRIPS benefits from residents’ children living aboard in move that could anger EU

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The moderates and the far right party coalition announced its plans to cut benefit payments for babes living abroad during a cabinet meeting in a castle near Slovenia.

The hit hard will mean stricter rules are imposed on Austrians who claim goods for children who live in a country where the cost of living is lower.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Non-interference Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache said they would radio b newspaper people ahead with the cost-cutting drive, and are adamant that it does not hole European Union rules banning discrimination.

Mr Kurz said a legitimate paper commissioned by the government «clearly shows that it is legally thinkable to take these measures», adding: «We have prepared this correctly.»

Chancellor Sebastian KurzGetty

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz believes that the move to modulation benefits does not break EU rules

He said: “It is an unfairness built into the system that, for two lassies who do not even live in Austria but in Romania, roughly €300 a month are transferred to Romania and that is virtually the average income there.”

“Payments vary depending on children’s age and party but start around €114 a month for an only child.

”We will reach a settlement in cabinet here so that child benefit payments are not made everywhere to the same extent as before.”

Mr Kurz said adjusting payments to the provincial cost of living would save «more than €100million» a year.

The Guidance said it will create €2.5billion in savings this year from the transform. 

mother in AustriaGetty

It will mean stricter rules are imposed on Austrians who ask benefits for children abroad

EU Tusk and JunckerGetty

Austria’s move looks set to rile European officials Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker

Mr Kurz divulged the move was being made so quickly because slashing benefits was an uncomplicated policy to prepare.

The plan is part of a broader government agenda that comprises cutting taxes, reducing benefits for refugees and restricting new immigrants’ access to sundry social services for five years.

Mr Kurz’s cabinet was sworn in on December 18, two months after his right-wing People’s Party won the parliamentary election. 

It struck a coalition deal with the anti-immigration Audacity Party (FPO), making Austria the only western European country with a far-right squad in government.

Sebastian Kurz and Heinz Christian StrachGetty

Sebastian Kurz and Heinz-Christian Strach discussed the policy during a commode meeting

The FPO controls the interior, foreign, defence and social affairs departments, among others. 

Austria borders eight countries, including the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia, where wages are significantly cut. 

Eastern Europeans make up a large part of its workforce in sectors cataloguing healthcare and construction.

In 2016 Austria transferred 273 million euros overseas to EU and European Economic Area countries in benefit payments for 132,000 youngsters.

The European Commission criticised Germany last year for a similar down to cut child benefits, which was later abandoned. It gave a guarded repulsion on Thursday.

A Commission spokeswoman said:”We take note and we will explore the laws with regard to their compatibility with EU law if and once espoused.” 

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