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According to the government, ski areas remain open, short-time working budget significantly increased |  Tyrolean daily newspaper online

According to the government, ski areas remain open, short-time working budget significantly increased | Tyrolean daily newspaper online

Österreich sei aufgrund des hohen Tourismus- und Exportanteils härter von der Krise betroffen als andere Länder, habe aber auch größere finanzielle Anstrengungen unternommen als andere Staaten, erklärte Finanzminister Gernot Blümel in einer gemeinsamen PK mit Arbeitsminister Kocher und Wirtschaftsministerin Schramböck.

© GEORG HOCHMUTH

Vienna – The short-time working budget for this year will be increased from 5 to 7 billion euros. The Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Finance announced on Tuesday. 458,993 people are currently on short-time work. That is 18,600 more short-time workers than in the previous week. In addition, a total of 534,256 people are registered as unemployed with the AMS or are in training. That is 744 people more than in the previous week and 113,000 more unemployed than in the previous year.

For Corona short-time work, companies have applied for 10.4 billion euros so far and 5.8 billion euros have been paid out by the Public Employment Service. “In the crisis, it is our clear goal to secure jobs through short-time work, and we succeed”, said Labor Minister Martin Kocher on Tuesday at a press conference with Finance Minister Gernot Blümel and Economics Minister Margarete Schramböck (all ÖVP). “For the recovery afterwards, it will be crucial that we now use the time well for further training and qualifications,” said Kocher.

Blümel: “Largest aid package within the EU”

Due to its high share of tourism and exports, Austria was harder hit by the crisis than other countries, but it also made greater financial efforts than other countries, said Blümel. Tourism and gastronomy, trading companies, transport companies and body-related service professions were hit hardest. “In Austria we are fighting the economic consequences of the pandemic with the largest aid package within the EU,” said the finance minister.

Blümel referred to an IHS study, according to which no other country in the EU had implemented higher deficit-effective measures to save health, jobs and locations than Austria. According to the Ministry of Finance, around 31 billion euros have been paid out or legally binding in Austria via the various corona aid.

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📽 Video | Short-time working budget for this year will be increased from 5 to 7 billion euros

Kocher emphasized that because of the corona pandemic, home offices should be used whenever possible and routes should be restricted. The finalization of the home office regulation is being worked on. “The proposals are on the table,” said Blümel. How the short-time work will continue from March will be announced in early to mid-February – as announced, said Kocher. In any case, short-time work is the most important instrument in the crisis.

Schramböck: Ski areas remain open

What is certain is how things will continue with the ski areas: They will remain open. People would want to get out and do sports, so Schramböck. She criticized the fact that the virus in the South African mutation may have been introduced through private trips abroad. “I don’t understand that, that’s irresponsible,” said the minister after a corona cluster in the Zillertal.

Companies have so far submitted around 85,000 applications as part of the Corona investment bonus. According to Schramböck, the grant volume is 2.8 billion euros, and the projects are expected to trigger an investment volume of 30 billion euros. According to the ministry, around half of all applications were made in the area of ​​digitization and sustainability. Investment Bonus applications can be submitted until February 28th.

Austria is growing continuously, but weaker than other countries. This is due to lower consumption, but there is also room for improvement in terms of productivity increases – Denmark and Switzerland, for example, would be further ahead here. In any case, Schramböck assumes that domestic consumption will return more quickly after the crisis than after the financial crash after the Lehman bankruptcy. Kocher added that the upswing will “definitely come”, but the question is “how we can get out of the crisis”. It is now important to use the short-time working phase for training, which is also being promoted by the government.

Revenue replacement also for those indirectly affected from February 16

Blümel emphasized that the government was “working flat out” on finalizing the revenue replacement for the companies indirectly affected by the lockdown in November and December. This help will be available in January. From February 16, it will be possible to apply for the cancellation bonus as an aid for all hard-hit companies, regardless of whether they are directly or indirectly affected. (APA)

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