Hardly any topic divides the Austrians as much as the obligation to vaccinate. After the federal government presented the completed draft law on compulsory snacks last Sunday, compulsory vaccination is now to be decided by the National Council tomorrow, Thursday. All parties – except for the FPÖ, which is against it – want to vote for it. Unanimously. That this will happen seemed unlikely until recently, since the sensitive issue in several parties – especially in the SPÖ – opened deep internal rifts (the eXXpress reported).
Now, however, all differences should be overcome and a vote should be taken in favor of compulsory vaccination – at least this was the expectation expressed by the deputy red club boss Jörg Leichtfried on Wednesday at a press conference. This would also be in the spirit of party leader Pamela Rendi-Wagner, who had already clearly substantiated her stance on vaccination several times.
At the press conference, Jörg Leichtfried also announced plans for a joint initiative with the coalition with the aim of establishing incentives for vaccination. However, the vice club boss did not reveal any details.
Both Rendi-Wagner and Leichtfried consider compulsory vaccination to be necessary to protect human life and prevent further lockdowns. In turn, Leichtfried blamed the opposition, or more precisely the Federal Chancellor of the ÖVP, for the need for compulsory vaccination. In short, Schallenberg and Nehammer “did nothing to advance vaccination”. In particular, ex-chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP), as head of government, would have given the impression that the pandemic was already over, criticized Leichtfried.
Despite all the allegations, the SPÖ now wants to act together with the coalition in terms of compulsory vaccination and also establish incentives for the Jaukerl. Recently, there was speculation that communities could be rewarded for high vaccination rates. Leichtfried did not want to talk about “eggs not yet laid” on Wednesday, but assumed that there would be an incentive system in any case.
According to him, the fact that the SPÖ agrees also has to do with the fact that some things were negotiated after the assessment – for example that the richer cannot easily buy their way out of the obligation or that the obligation ends immediately when it is no longer necessary or .constitutionality is no longer given.
Leichtfried assumes that the SPÖ will agree, and that closed. In his club it is always the case that “first we discuss internally” and then “the majority position is represented unanimously,” he explained. The unanimous approval of his group in the Health Committee would have already indicated this direction.
The second major topic of the plenary session is tax reform, and in this regard, Leichtfried is particularly critical of preferential treatment for companies, especially the reduction in corporate tax. Instead of fair taxation for the rich, there are still large tax gifts for them. The employees, on the other hand, paid for their tax breaks themselves via the cold progression. Instead, suggestions were needed as to what could be done to counteract inflation.