Austria is providing above-average support for companies in the corona pandemic

Momentum Institute: Massive increase in company subsidies since 2020. Austria is the EU leader.

At the beginning of the corona pandemic, Austria massively expanded funding for companies. In 2020 and 2021, calculated as a share of gross domestic product, these were the highest in the entire EU. Around four percent of economic output went to companies. According to provisional figures from the EU database Ameco, Austria is again at the top of the EU comparison for company subsidies this year, writes the trade union-affiliated Momentum Institute.

Before the outbreak of the corona pandemic, almost one percent of domestic economic output went to companies as subsidies, according to the Momentum Institute. In 2020 and 2021, this support has quadrupled to 15 to 16 billion euros or around four percent of economic output. On average, the EU countries only spent 1.7 percent of their economic output on corporate subsidies, i.e. not even half. No other EU country has helped the companies as much as Austria in these two years.

Still high level

This year, funding in Austria is likely to be halved again, but at 1.9 percent of GDP it would still be twice as high as before the Corona period. Belgium, the Netherlands and Greece are likely to spend more money on their companies than Austria this year, but the EU average is well below this at 1.2 percent of GDP.

“In many companies, the subsidies were so high that they did not cushion extreme losses, as originally thought, but instead brought the company additional profits. In many cases, the subsidies were excessive,” criticizes the Momentum Institute. In addition, there would be planned support for the conversion of the economy to renewable energy sources. On the other hand, corporate income tax or the contribution to the family burden equalization fund have been reduced, which lowers the companies’ contribution to the state budget. From the Momentum Institute’s point of view, companies’ contributions to the state budget should increase.