2019. 04. 01.
Press release by Ádám Kósa
Thursday afternoon, the European Parliament’s plenary session discussed the issue of indexing family benefits for children living abroad. At the beginning of this year, Austria ties family benefits and family tax deductions for children living in another Member States to the cost of living in that Member State. In response, the European Commission launched in January infringement proceedings against the country. The two-month deadline for responding to the Commission’s objections has just expired.
“Anyone working in Austria contributes to the Austrian social security and tax system with the same payments as local workers. Therefore, if they receive lower benefits just because their child lives in another Member State, that is a clear instance of discrimination,” Ádám Kósa, Fidesz MEP and member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, stressed in a written statement.
EU rules on the coordination of social security systems are clear: they do not allow Member States to reduce cash benefits simply because the family members of persons under its jurisdiction reside in another Member State. Doing so would violate EU rules on social security and the principle of equal treatment regarding social and tax benefits for workers holding citizenships from another Member State.
“It doesn’t matter what the cost of living is in the other Member State, for example in Hungary, where it is lower than in Austria, the benefits are paid in lump sum payments and are not linked to the actual costs of child bearing.”
The European Commission launched infringement procedure against Austria two months ago. The Fidesz MEP called on the European Commission not to delay the launch of a new stage of the infringement procedure, as Austrian measures currently render the life’s of many families from other Member States financially difficult.