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Factbox - Policies of Austria's main parties in Sunday's election
October 13, 2017 / 2:39 PM / 9 days ago

Factbox - Policies of Austria's main parties in Sunday's election

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austria’s parliamentary election on Sunday involves three large parties polling above 20 percent and a host of smaller parties that polls show on roughly 6 percent or less, with 4 percent being the threshold for obtaining seats.

The frontrunner, the conservative People’s Party, has been polling on roughly a third of the vote, and it is highly unlikely any party will obtain a majority. The winner will probably need to form a coalition with another large party to govern.

Below are policies of the three biggest parties in parliament, taken mainly from their campaign programmes.

PEOPLE‘S PARTY (Conservative, junior coalition partner)

Leader: Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz

Slogans: Now. Or Never!; This time, Kurz; Time for something new.

* Total tax cuts and extra spending of between 11.7 billion and 12.7 billion euros

* Cut income tax on annual earnings up to 60,000 euros

* Overhaul corporation tax so that retained profits are not taxed

* Cap basic welfare at 540 euros a month for refugees, below the standard amount of roughly 830-924 euros, to end after five years if that person has had a full-time job for 12 months

* Bar foreigners from receiving social benefits until they have lived in Austria legally for five years, with the above exception for refugees

* Cap average increases in public spending at the inflation rate

* A 1,500 euro “tax bonus” (reduction in income tax) per child

* Cut social charges paid by employers by 3 billion euros

* Within the European Union, push for:

- The EU to focus on “core competences”, especially trade and securing external borders

- Streamlined structures and a smaller Commission

- The Commission’s president to be directly elected

* Oppose introducing wealth or inheritance taxes

* Introduce a minimum wage of 1,500 euros a month

* Increase the number of referendums, setting aside one to two days a year on which they can be held

SOCIAL DEMOCRATS (Centre left, senior coalition partner)

Leader: Chancellor Christian Kern

Slogan: Get what you’re entitled to

* Total tax cuts of 5.4 billion euros and spending increases of 4.4 billion euros

* Introduce a minimum wage of 1,500 euros a month net of tax

* Introduce a tax on inheritances of more than 1 billion euros to fund elderly care

* Reduce workers’ income tax and employers’ social charges

* Hire 5,000 more teachers and put 2,500 more police officers “on the streets”

* Prevent “a sell-off of Austrian high technology” and review takeovers of strategically important companies by firms from outside the European Union

* Obtain permission under EU rules to give workers already living in Austria priority for jobs in sectors with high unemployment

* Back “the rapid completion of (European) economic and monetary union”.

* Support the establishment of a common European asylum system

FREEDOM PARTY (Far right, anti-immigration, in opposition)

Leader: Heinz-Christian Strache

Slogan: Austrians deserve fairness

* 12 billion euros in tax cuts, to benefit primarily “Those who make a contribution and families”

* “A tax model that leads to a smaller tax burden for those who have more children”

* Raise the minimum pension to 1,200 euros a month for people who have paid in for 40 years or more (from 1,000 euros)

* Shut certain sectors of the economy to non-EU workers

* Introduce a monthly minimum wage of 1,500 euros gross with no added “burden” to employers

* Bar foreigners from receiving social benefits until they have paid into the system for at least five years

* Hire more police and increase the defence budget “massively”

* Limit the proportion of foreign pupils per classroom

* Tougher sentences for sexual and violent crimes

* Deport foreign convicts to their home countries

* Strip former jihadists of their Austrian citizenship

* Push for Brussels to hand more powers back to member states

* Review the European Convention on Human Rights and potentially replace it with an ”Austrian Convention on Human Rights

* Increase direct democracy based on the Swiss model, and make “veto referendums” possible to block parliamentary legislation

Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Alison Williams

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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