Discriminatory measures proposed by the Austrian government for family allowance

The Austrian government has decided to re-launch the plan to drastically reduce the amount of family allowance granted to foreign nationals working in Austria in line with the amount paid in the country where their children live.

The draft law provides for a reduction in the allowance for the children of workers from countries with lower living costs to match the level in their countries of origin. This measure has a significant impact on eastern European countries, including on Romanians living and working in Austria legally.

Since the same share of revenue is taxed by the Austrian State and Romanian citizens, it is unacceptable for there to be different treatment for identical situations. Children living in a country should have equal opportunities in education, healthcare and all areas affecting their personal and social development.

Allowances are not just a right for children, but an obligation incumbent upon the Member States to foster generations of educated young people with wide-ranging skills, who make an active contribution to the prosperity and well-being of society.

What is the Commission’s position on this proposal by the Austrian government, which infringes the principles that underpin the functioning of the EU, and what measures does the Commission intend to take?