September 22nd 2023

Budget strategy in challenging times

As part of the Distinguished Guests lecture series, the Entrepreneurial School® was delighted to receive a visit from Austria's Finance Minister Magnus Brunner.

Austria's Finance Minister Magnus Brunner on challenges and goals in difficult times.


"Generally speaking, we have made it through the crises quite well in terms of economy," said Dr. Magnus Brunner, LL.M., Minister of Finance of Austria, at the beginning of his keynote speech at the Congress Innsbruck. The labor market is stable, gas supplies have been secured and the predicted "horror scenarios" have not occurred. But the difficult times are not over yet, which is why we need to act now to overcome hurdles such as inflation, climate change, and competitiveness - in Austria and in the EU.

Fighting inflation and climate change

But what are the measures that are to be taken? The fact that Austria is currently above the European inflation average is partly due to the fact that the measures taken so far have not always been effective. The Austrian Consumer Price Index, the long-term energy contracts and the above-average wages all play a key role in this respect. In addition, the issue also lies with the European Central Bank, which has probably done "too little - too late".

Brunner also sees major challenges in care, health, childcare and, above all, climate: "Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time. We need to invest in this matter." To reach set goals, such as climate neutrality by 2040, we would need to prioritize and save up for possible future crises. Furthermore, the population and companies need to be on the same page, "because ultimately, we will only achieve these goals together."

Performance must pay off again

The fact that more and more people want to work part-time should be countered with more attractive full-time conditions. "I don't understand why some demand fewer hours. Especially in times like these, when we urgently need employees, the opposite should be the case,” he said. He added that there should be tax relief, especially with regard to pensions. Retired employees who want to continue working should be given the opportunity to do so.

Affordable property was also addressed in the discussion, which particularly concerns young people. Dr. Brunner proposed possible solutions, such as abolishing the property acquisition tax on the first property or the land registration fee, or making loan interests tax-deductible.

Looking ahead

Financial and economic topics as well as entrepreneurial understanding still come up short in many educational programs. "Entrepreneurial education is good for our economy, which is why I think what you are doing at MCI is impressive. Congratulations," emphasized Dr. Brunner. He concluded by advising the young people in the audience to broaden their horizons and take any opportunities abroad that are offered to them: "But please come back afterwards. We need you here in Austria."