We have a graduated cup

22.09

Deputy Mag. Gerald Hauser (FPÖ): Mr. President! Estimated - - (The alarm signal sounds again.Interjection from the Abg. Jarolim.)

President Mag. Wolfgang Sobotka: The company fire brigade has already been instructed. It will decide shortly whether the hall needs to be cleared or not. (Applause from the SPÖ.)

There is no threat to security, Mr Hauser can go on. (General amusement.)

Deputy Mag. Gerald Hauser (continuing): Thank you, Mr President. You are concerned about our safety - thank you for that; the fire brigade is already on the way. (Heckling from the MPs Jarolim and Eavesdropping.)

Colleague Becher, first a few words about the cum-ex business: Of course, colleague Rossmann deserves a thank you for getting things started with his inquiry. In the Committee of the Court of Auditors, however - and the Minister of Finance was present there, Mrs Becher, I have to correct you - the Minister of Finance stated that Austrian finance is not only pursuing these fraudulent transactions, but that additional payments will also be made. He noticed that. (Interjection from the Abg. Cups.)

By the way: This is not something specific to Austria, but unfortunately it is an international phenomenon. It's no use to us, but it's an international phenomenon. (Call to the SPÖ: ... known for years!) I would also like to remind you that Finance Minister Löger has been Finance Minister for a year, but all the frauds with the cum-ex deals were committed before his time. So stay a little on the ground of reality, don't always puddle and pour! - For one thing.

On the other hand, I would like in the necessary brevity - - (Interjection from the Abg. Knes.) - Here we go again, my God! (Interjection from the Abg. Greiner.)Your stories, which you always make up and so on, are now really adventurous.

But now a few words briefly on financial equalization and the allocation of requirements - the Court of Auditors has produced a very good report on this - the following for everyone who is watching: The financial equalization regulates the distribution of tax revenue, which is essentially collected by the federal government, that is roughly 80 billion euros. This tax revenue is distributed to the federal states and municipalities, roughly in a ratio of two thirds to one third; two thirds of the money that the federal government collects - sales tax and so on - remain with the federal government, the remaining third is divided up. So that you can imagine the magnitude: That is around 22 billion euros for the federal states, 9 billion euros for all municipalities.

How do the congregations get these funds now, according to which keys are these funds calculated? - That has been criticized by us for ages, it works according to the so-called graduated population scale and according to the population. What does that mean? - That the residents, the community residents - - (A group of people, including firefighters, pass through the meeting room and leave it.) - Are we sure? (General applause. Jarolim: Thanks!) We thank the fire brigade, of course. (Laughter from the SPÖ.) - It's funny, it's incredibly funny, right? If there is an alarm, that's funny. (Heckling at the SPÖ.)

Let's be glad nothing happened! We would like to thank the fire brigade, who made sure that we are safe. That's neither funny nor anything else, I have to find out (Applause from the FPÖ and ÖVP - call to the SPÖ: We thanked you!), So I don't understand the laughter on your part at all - that is also an access to clubs. (Abg. Schieder: This is the Hofburg's professional fire brigade!)

The fire brigades work on a voluntary basis - not in Vienna, we know that, but in rural areas they work on a voluntary basis - and all the club officials who have now watched and listened know how ridiculous you really see this club activity of the fire brigades. (Interjection from the Abg. Knes.) That was again great proof that volunteering is really worthless to you. (Applause from the FPÖ and ÖVP. Jarolim.)

How are these municipal revenue shares determined now? - According to the graduated population key, and that's unfair. Small communities fare worse than large communities because the number of inhabitants is multiplied by a so-called multiplier. For municipalities with up to 10,000 inhabitants the multiplier is 1.61, for municipalities with more than 50,000 inhabitants the multiplier is 2.33. What does that mean? - Vienna has 1.8 million inhabitants, and Vienna receives money for 4 million inhabitants through this factor. (Abg. Rädler: ... minimum income!)

We know that the whole thing is not fair, and we have fought it. It's a relic from wartime: the cities were destroyed, and of course a lot of money was invested in building the infrastructure of the cities - but the system has remained the same to this day. It has already been flattened a bit, but essentially the graduated population key, which disadvantages rural areas, still exists, which we strongly criticize.

Now we have the community revenue shares. How are the municipal revenue shares distributed? - They are not given directly to the municipalities, but are transferred to the states, and the states deduct 12.7 percent from this amount for the so-called requirement allocations and a maximum of 7.6 percent for the state levy. So that Tyrol is not praised here: Lower Austria deducts 0 percent, Tyrol 7.46 percent - Tyrol gets a so-called Körberlgeld from the municipalities in the amount of 80 million euros.

These requirement allocations are then distributed differently in the countries. There are countries in which this works better - I can expressly praise Carinthia and Salzburg - that have excellent models that are transparent, that are comprehensible; the municipalities know three years in advance how high the allocation of requirements will be. (Interjection at the ÖVP.) In other countries, as the Court of Auditors also found and criticized, this money is given politically: In Styria it looks like the red regional councils are responsible for the red municipalities, this is really a political issue. (Interjection from the Abg. Light peace.) In other municipalities, like in Tyrol, you have to "crawl" properly - under quotation marks - in order to get money, and that is of course also distributed politically, that is undisputed. So that is not fair, not transparent, that was also stated by the Court of Auditors.

In conclusion: I would like the great so-called Carinthian model and also the Salzburg model to be used in the distribution of the funds to all Austrian municipalities. (Applause from the FPÖ and ÖVP. - Interjection from Abg. Klaus Uwe Feichtinger.)

22.16

President Mag. Wolfgang Sobotka: To a actual correction Mr Leichtfried, deputy chairman of the club, spoke up. - You're welcome. (Abg. Jarolim: The poor children!)