Measures for the economy and for companies particularly affected by high prices are also planned as part of the government’s relief package against inflation. Around 1 billion euros are to be made available, said Economics and Labor Minister Martin Kocher (ÖVP) on Wednesday after the Council of Ministers. A good part of this will flow into electricity price compensation and a direct subsidy for energy-intensive companies.
The electricity price compensation is intended to benefit those companies that are subject to European certificate trading and are particularly struggling with the high electricity and gas prices. According to Kocher, 233 million euros have been earmarked for this. In addition to direct relief, this is also about “ensuring that the companies concerned do not migrate and produce CO2 in countries where there are no emission certificates and therefore no price for emissions.” In concrete terms, affected companies are to be reimbursed for 75 percent of their expenses in emissions certificate trading.
The subsidy, in turn, is intended to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular and cushion additional costs due to higher energy prices. The details of the payment are still to be determined, according to Kocher, the instrument should be processed via Austria Wirtschaftsservice (aws). “The design will then be such that you can subsequently apply for compensation for the high costs,” said the minister. Up to 500 million euros are available.
The head of department does not believe that the relief for energy-intensive companies will mean that efforts in the direction of the climate and energy transition will fall by the wayside. Due to the currently high prices, there are already enough incentives to invest in sustainable forms of energy.
As a further aspect, Kocher emphasized the employee bonus of up to 3000 euros. This is primarily intended to relieve employees. In return, companies would have the opportunity to make additional payments that are not subject to tax.