The Rising Cost of Living Is the Biggest Concern for Austrians

Organizations ♦ Published: December 31, 2022; 14:43 ♦ (Vindobona)

A study conducted by the Institute for Empirical Social Research (IFES) on behalf of the trade union GPA shows that – among other things – the rise of living cost are causing the biggest headaches for Austrians. Other subjects of worry are the worsening of the healthcare system and the rising gap between the poor and rich.

Austrians' Greatest Worry Is the Rise of Living Costs, According to a Recent Study. / Picture: ©

The increasingly unaffordable cost of living is currently the biggest concern for Austrians. This emerges from an IFES study commissioned by the union GPA, which was carried out in November and December. 86 percent were very concerned or somewhat concerned on this point, closely followed by the topic of savings or deterioration in the healthcare system, the increasing gap between rich and poor, and a far-reaching economic crisis, according to Der Standard.

Also according to Der Standard, the study surveyed 1,000 residents aged 16 or older, both by phone and online, and found that 73 percent were most concerned about climate change. The least concerning point among those surveyed was the digitization of the working world. This was followed by cuts to the welfare state or social system, restrictions on democratic rights, and rising unemployment. In comparison with previous surveys in 2000, there has been an increase in concern about costs, healthcare, economic instability, and democracy.

According to the study authors, Austrian concerns span all social classes and are widely spread. Women were particularly affected by the crisis, which heightened their concerns. Women are more concerned about the cost of living than men, with 89 percent and 83 percent worrying respectively. Low-income groups were more likely to experience economic difficulties. It was emphasized that the problems themselves run through all income classes. Concern about the climate crisis has hardly been weakened by other crises. Increasingly, it said, there is concern about the restriction of democratic rights as well as economic developments, according to NOEN.

The GPA took this as an opportunity to demand more commitment from politicians to combat the consequences of the crisis. Politicians also implemented some demands of the trade unions. Now more relief measures are needed for private households, demanded GPA chair Barbara Teiber: "It cannot be that there is money for companies but not for the broad mass of dependent employees." The union is demanding a price cap for heat from all sources, and temporary tax cuts on food, fuel, public transport tickets, electricity, and gas. The mileage allowance must be increased, and rent increases capped. According to the GPA, unemployment benefits are also to be increased, and unemployment assistance is indexed.