VIEWS EXPRESSED HERE ARE THE VIEWS OF THE NATIONAL DELEGATION AND DO NOT ALWAYS REFLECT THE VIEWS OF THE GROUP AS A WHOLE

Brussels, 10 January 2018 (SDS/ELS) - The Austrian Government plans a new law to index child benefits to the costs-of-living in the Member State where the children reside. According to the Austrian Government, this measure will affect 132.000 children, mainly in Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Romania and Slovenia. 

Due to such measures, 10.600 Slovenian children would receive lower child allowances in comparison with children of the Member States from Western Europe. "I am worried that Austria, with this populist move, divides the children of EU citizens into first and second class citizens. If they want to prevent so-called social tourism, to which I also oppose, this is not an adequate way of doing it," stated Romana Tomc, Member of the Employment Committee in the European Parliament. 

"Everyone, including the Slovenian people employed in Austria, contributes equally to the Austrian social system, so why not be treated equally when it comes down to benefiting from it as well?", she explains. The MEP added that a vivid debate regarding the Austrian plan takes place currently in the European Parliament. 

"Article 21 of the Treaty prohibits any discrimination of EU citizens. Thus, I will table amendments to the Regulation on the Coordination of Social Systems, in such a way that Slovenian children will be protected. I am convinced that there is no majority in the Employment Committee to index social benefits in Europe," she continued. 

In conclusion, the MEP also explained that, on her initiative, in cooperation with colleagues from Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania, a Parliamentary Question to the Commission was prepared, which will be sent tomorrow.

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