Austria adopts carbon pricing in tax overhaul

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FILE PHOTO: European People’s Party meeting takes place in Berlin

VIENNA, Reuters

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, whose Tories rule in coalition with the Greens, called the package that will provide a cumulative 18 billion euros ($ 21 billion) in tax cuts through 2025, the biggest tax overhaul of modern Austrian history.

The carbon tax will begin in mid-2022 and will amount to 55 euros per tonne in 2025.

The government will cushion the shock of rising travel and heating costs via regional “climate bonuses” of 100 euros per year for city dwellers and up to 200 euros for people living in the countryside, where public transport is less. available.

“Less air pollution, more money in the wallet,” Greens leader Werner Kogler said at a press conference.

Corporate tax rates will gradually fall to 23% in 2024 from 25% today, while income tax rates for people in two income brackets will also decrease.

Family “bonus” allowances will increase to 2,000 euros per child from mid-2022 against 1,500 euros today, while health insurance contributions for people with modest incomes will decrease.

Finance Minister Gernot Bluemel said the economic and job growth boosted by the package would help pay for the tax cuts and Austria’s debt-to-GDP ratio would gradually decline over the years.

($ 1 = 0.8625 euros)

(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Catherine Evans)


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