The energy crisis and the weak economy were the focus of yesterday’s Economic Parliament of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce (WK). “The high energy prices must not continue to threaten European competitiveness,” said President Harald Mahrer, who was connected from Brussels.
Against this background, the energy cost subsidy is an important relief measure, but others must follow, said General Secretary Karlheinz Kopf. He is currently fighting for the continuation of an energy cost remuneration model from October 1st.
Budget approved for 2023
Due to inflation, the budget estimate for the levy in 2023 is 261 million euros, 5.7 percent above the 247 million euros in 2022. In addition to the chamber levies, Vice President and Finance Officer Wolfgang Hesoun budgeted with goods and service revenues of 21.4 million euros and others operating income of 33.9 million euros.
This is offset by expenditure for staff of 154.3 million euros (estimate for 2022: 136.9 million euros) and material expenses of 162.5 million euros (estimate for 2022: 141.8 million euros). The negative operating result amounts to 0.5 million euros, according to Hesoun.
The rather poor figures of the WK are to be made a little more transparent in the future at the request of the green economy. The majority of the delegates decided that the annual financial statements and estimates, the maximum compensation for officials and the electoral group funding would not be made public, but would at least be made available to all members online, according to Sabine Jungwirth, federal spokeswoman for the Green Economy, in a broadcast.
Christoph Matznetter from the Social Democratic Business Association (SWV) referred to the impending stagnation. Together with the Economic Association and Liste Industrie, the SWV submitted an urgent application to maintain the competitiveness of the Austrian economy in the energy crisis. “The government must finally move. Another competitive disadvantage to Germany would be deadly for our economy,” said SWV boss Matznetter.