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Factbox: Policies of Austria's main parties in Sunday's election
October 13, 2017 / 2:39 PM / a month 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.

German Green party leader Cem Oezdemir and Austrian top candidate Ulrike Lunacek attend the Greens' final election campaign rally in Vienna, Austria, October 13, 2017. REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler

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 programs.

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 defense 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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