Finance Minister Gernot Blümel (ÖVP) announced more funds for short-time work on Tuesday, there is also an extension of the model. From Wednesday, entrepreneurs can apply for fixed-cost grants.
The funds for short-time work will be increased by two to twelve billion euros in order to process the applications. Finance Minister Gernot Blümel said. The application dynamics are gradually declining, but the funds would not have been enough to meet all applications. Ten billion euros have already been approved. In addition, the short-time working model (currently three months + a one-time extension of three months) is to be extended, as Blümel confirmed on request, but negotiations with the social partners would still be ongoing. It is important to Blümel that compliance with the rules on short-time working be carefully monitored in order to prevent abuse at the expense of the general public. According to the Ministry of Finance, 700 violations have so far been registered in almost 3000 inspections.
From Wednesday, companies can apply for the fixed cost subsidy at www.finanzonline.at. Up to 75 percent of fixed costs, such as for office rent, are reimbursed by the federal government, and the first settlement is to take place after ten days.
Minister of Labor Christine Aschbacher emphasized that 1.3 million jobs could be saved through short-time work. The unemployment curve continued to flatten, and the number of unemployed had dropped by around 55,500 since the peak in mid-April. She sees a significant decline in the construction industry, only a slight one in the retail sector, and the first effects would be seen in the catering trade through the opening of the bars. Currently 487,012 people are registered as unemployed with the job market service, 45,681 in training courses.
Economics Minister Margarete Schramböck said that the extension of short-time work is an important instrument. For the company, that means continuity and planning security. In her department, she had set up a “Task Force for the Development of National Economic Defense” in order to remedy the weaknesses that had become visible during the crisis. She thinks of rolling warehouses for critical goods, the promotion of the production of lost goods domestically and a “Fast Line” for faster transport in times of crisis. The plans would be presented in detail soon.
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