family benefits

Currently there is a big discussion about child benefits in Austria. The rule is: for every kid there will be child benefits payed for by the government. The amount is 436 € per month for three years. Yes, that is a lot, because the last conservative government wanted people to stay home and have kids (and not party and have sex without getting kids, as one minister put it.)

Unless the mother or father staying home to tend to the kid earns more than 14.600 € aside, then they don’t get anything. It doesn’t matter how much the other parent earns by the way.


After the Kinderbetreuungsgeld runs out there is Familienbeihilfe, another 150 € per child and month unless the annual income is less than about 8.500 € until the kid is 18 (or 26 if it goes to university). (If you need counseling on these matters, better not ask anybody blogging, but someone at your local council or magistrate.)

Anyway, now it seems that 2 in 5 recievers of child benefit earned more than that on the side and now face having to pay back 2-5.000 € per year.

This matter is even more interesting, when taking in account that the average income in Austria of employed people is 16.600 € net. (info from, which is becoming one of my favorite sites for hard facts.) That means that 2 in 5 parents claiming to stay home are actually working full time. Otherwise I would like to know what kind of part-time jobs those are, because I’d switch instantly.

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