Employment: Indexation of family benefits, child tax credit and family tax credits: Commission takes AUSTRIA to Court for discrimination
The European Commission has decided to refer Austria to the Court of Justice of the EU. The Commission considers that the Austrian law on the indexation of family benefits and tax credits is not allowed under EU rules and is discriminatory.
On 1 January 2019, Austria introduced a mechanism indexing the amount of family benefits, child tax credits and family tax credits for EU nationals who work in Austria and have children living abroad.
The Commission finds that such an indexation mechanism is against current rules on social security coordination and against the EU rules on freedom of movement for workers and on the coordination of social security systems.
The mechanism is discriminatory as it means that some mobile EU workers in Austria who fully contribute to the Austrian economy, workforce and social security system receive lower benefits compared to those workers whose children are living in Austria.
Today’s referral to Court is the last step in the infringement procedure that started in January 2019, when the Commission sent a letter of formal notice to Austria.
As the response given by Austria in March 2019 was considered unsatisfactory, the Commission followed up with a reasoned opinion in July 2019. Having analysed the Austrian reply received in October 2019, the Commission considers that its concerns have not been addressed.
Hence, the decision was taken to refer Austria to the Court of Justice of the EU.
Arianna Podesta –