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Jan 15, 2019

Hungary turns to EC over Austria's benefit cuts for foreign workers

Pál Völner said the interests of Hungarian workers come first, and the government does everything in its power to make sure their rights are not infringed upon abroad

The Hungarian government has turned to the European commissioner for employment and social affairs with a view to initiating an infringement procedure against Austria over the issue of benefits for family members of workers posted abroad.

On January 1st, Austria cut family benefits paid for foreigners working in the country to the price levels of the country of residence of the child. As a result of the benefit cuts, the Austrian government now only pays 56 percent of the official family allowance to Hungarians working there if their children live in Hungary.

On January 7th, the Hungarian government presented a diplomatic note to the Austrian government explaining that the country’s changes to its family benefit system and personal income tax preferences violate EU regulations. Hungary has decided to turn to Marianne Thyssen, the EU commissioner.

State secretary Pál Völner said Hungary will turn to the Court of Justice of the European Union if the European Commission won’t launch an infringement procedure against Austria.

Völner said the interests of Hungarian workers come first, and the government does everything in its power to make sure their rights are not infringed upon abroad.