Austrian government plans cap on rent increases to cushion the impact of inflation

BERLIN — The government of Austria presented a series of measures Wednesday to counter the impact of inflation, including a three-year cap on rent increases for many apartments and a freeze on fees to use highways.

The package foresees a 5% cap on annual rent increases in 2024-2026 even if inflation is higher than that. According to the government, the cap will prevent hikes of some 15% next year in some public housing.

Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler said the limit would benefit 1.2 million housing contracts in the country of some 9 million people, the Austria Press Agency reported. Kogler's Green party said that number represents three-quarters of all rental contracts, according to the news agency.

Austria’s annual inflation rate stood at 7% in July.

The government's package also caps the cost of the sticker that cars must have to use Austria's highways at 96 euros ($104) per year, rather than increasing it with inflation. The price for a “climate ticket” that allows the use of public transportation across the country will top out at 1,095 euros ($1,192) per year.

The latest package from the coalition of Chancellor Karl Nehammer's conservative Austrian People's Party and Kogler's Greens comes as Austrian politicians look ahead to a national election expected in late 2024. The far-right opposition Freedom Party has led recent polls.


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