Austria's Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister Resigns

Spindel-1Vienna – Michael Spindelegger, ÖVP Chairman, Austria’s vice Chancellor and Finance Minister has announced he is stepping down from all political functions during a press conference citing criticism from his own political party over his refusal to accelerate tax reform plans.

Spindelegger said at the press conference that he is giving up his function as head of the conservative People’s Party, the junior government coalition partner of the Social Democrats. Now the ÖVP must occupy the newly freed up positions.

He said that reducing taxes for the average wage-earner now would come at the cost of new government debt or increasing other forms of taxation. He told reporters that he opposes both scenarios.

Spindelegger became vice chancellor three years ago and was appointed finance minister last year.

Chancellor Werner Faymman said: “We have set as a federal government in the budget stability, the question of the structural deficit and around the banking system, many measures that have brought Austria on a course of stability. It must be saved and relieved at the same time. Despite the forecasts of economic growth must be invested. we want to strengthen key areas such as health, research and education.”

He added that his cabinet will do everything that Austria continues to go on the course of stability with the necessary reforms. In terms of tax relief, Faymann reiterated the position of the Social Democratic Party that it needs two pillars of financing: savings and new revenues (eg millionaire tax). On the agreed timetable for a tax cut, which takes effect in 2015, is held.

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