Bratislava, May 10 (TASR) – Austria would save on Slovaks because of lower family allowances more than one-third of the amount it pays Slovaks working in Austria, stated Labour Minister Jan Richter (Smer-SD) at a meeting of the parliamentary EU committee.
Until now, Austria has been paying €63.3 million to Slovaks through this allowance, and now the amount paid would be reduced to €40.07 million. Overall, the Austrian bill on introducing lower family allowances for children living abroad would save the country €112 million.
Slovakia opposes this proposal along with other V4 countries (Visegrad Four: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia), as well as with Latvia, Belgium and Ireland. According to Richter, the principle of equal pay for the same work should apply. “This is an absolutely unacceptable regulation,” Richter said at the committee, adding that Slovak citizens who permanently and legally work in Austria pay the same levies as Austrians, so they should receive all the benefits as Austrians. The law should come into force from January 1, 2019.
The minister also said that if Austria definitively approves the draft, the European Commission is likely to examine the compatibility of the act with EU law. “Treaty prohibits any direct or indirect discrimination against workers on grounds of nationality,” stated Richter.