The zero deficit denotes a balanced budget per budget year - the annual expenditure does not exceed the annual income. According to Helmut Frisch , with a zero deficit, the interest expense from existing debt is already included in the annual government expenditure.
In the context of national accounts , a reduction in government spending (in the case of a zero deficit, even below the level of income, because less interest expenses) is problematic in the real economy: Every reduction in government spending increases (under otherwise unchanged conditions) the macroeconomic financing needs of companies , reduces income ( Y) of economics (Y = IS).
Structural deficit from 2017
As of 2017, the structural deficit of the Austrian budget should not exceed 0.45% ( fiscal pact criterion : 0.5%) (exception: natural disasters and “emergency situations”). This means that with an exemplary interest expense (2.3% interest expense in 2011; 2.2% in 2012) of 2% to service old debts, the Austrian state budget will increase by 1.55% per year from 2017 (minus interest expense) must earn more from GDP than he can spend (with 2% interest expense and 0.45% deficit). This can be done in two ways - either the state budget increases its income by means of a tax burden (tax increases) or it reduces its expenditure. Whether this has an unfavorable effect on the Austrian economy (and thus on GDP and the debt ratio in relation to GDP) depends on who is affected by the reduction (in relation to income) in government spending. If households (companies, private households) are affected, who would only have increased their money-saving assets from additional government spending, and if they accept the decrease in such a way that they do not increase their savings rate , then the government spending cut has no adverse economic impact. If, however, households are affected that would have spent the reduced income (or increased tax levies) on non-governmental economic agents, then an economic slowdown can be assumed (or not an economic recovery). The amount of the interest expense is not lost on balance - again means income for the respective creditors - but it is questionable to what extent the amount of the interest expense will return to the economic cycle or to what extent the respective amount increases the economic ineffectiveness of private money-saving assets.
If even the absolute debt of the state budget is to be reduced, as is planned between 2014 and 2020 (and a reduction of the debt ratio exceeding the 60% limit by one twentieth of the excess per year from 2014, for Austria therefore a reduction of approx % per year) the Austrian state budget (with stable GDP) must achieve an additional surplus of income (over expenditure). This is only economically neutral if either private households make savings and / or domestic companies and / or foreign companies increase their indebtedness.
Structural deficit / cyclical deficit
The structural deficit is the annual budget deficit of the respective state budget adjusted for economic fluctuations . Gustav Horn defines it as follows: “The structural deficit corresponds to that part of the total deficit that exists at normal utilization of the production potential .” In this respect, the assessment of the production potential of the respective national economy (s) is decisive for determining, amount and delimitation . The OECD estimates the potential for output and the output gap to be low (lower). If the respective production potential is calculated or justified in such a way that it has fallen or has fallen due to the crisis, there is of course no need to exceed the structural deficit to stimulate the economy. Rising unemployment is then reinterpreted as structural unemployment , the sales crisis as structural crisis . Macroeconomic imbalances are to be solved by means of macroeconomic adjustment programs (unit wage costs, privatizations, etc.).
Structural zero deficit from 2015
A structural zero deficit from 2015, as demanded by the EU Commission and the Austrian Fiscal Council (formerly the Austrian National Debt Committee ), will not be able to stop the rising unemployment in Austria in 2015, will not stimulate the ailing Austrian economy, on the contrary - in this regard, Jürgen Kröger from the European Commission speaks of "Sectoral adjustment needs".
Word of the Year (Austria) 2001
Even if the expression zero deficit was already common in 1926, it developed into a household word in politics and the media in Austria after 1999, at the time of the Schüssel I federal government . Finance Minister Karl-Heinz Grasser in particular presented it as the “central content of the government program”. The opposition party SPÖ criticized the " keywording " of politics and advocated a balanced budget over the economic cycle (if the economic situation was poor, new debt, if the economic situation was good, a surplus). In 2001 the Austrian national budget showed a zero deficit. The balanced budget may have come about because the states and municipalities generated a budget surplus and the federal government sold some state-owned companies. Due to the enormous media presence, the term became the Austrian word of the year 2001 .
- Georg Feigl, Markus Marterbauer, April 25, 2014: Structural Deficit: Functionality - Regulations - Problems (PDF).
- Helmut Frisch: Thoughts on the zero deficit. In: Österreichisches Jahrbuch für Politik 2000. München und Wien 2001. S. 153. ( online on Google.Books ( memento of the original from December 3, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and not yet checked. Please check Original and archive link according to instructions and then remove this note. )
Hans J. Barth: Potential-oriented debt. The concept of the council of experts to assess the overall economic development. In: National Debt Controversy. Cologne 1981. p. 59:
“The state uses part of the production potential to fulfill the tasks assigned to it by society, either directly by buying goods and employing staff, or indirectly by using transfer and Subsidy payments enables private individuals to assert demand. The public budgets are economically neutral if the state does not deviate with its expenditure and with its income regulations from what the private sector is used to, i.e. if the state in itself does not cause any deviation from the normal utilization of the production potential . If the actual budget volume deviates from the cyclical-neutral budget, the difference represents the economic impulse. "
Erich Schneider: Money, Credit, National Income and Employment. Tübingen 1964. (8th edition) p. 129:
“If the intended saving from income Y is equal to S, then this income can remain if and only if the entrepreneurs voluntarily invest in an amount equal to the intended savings . "
- Austrian Stability Pact: Federal Law Gazette. (PDF) Article 4. Structural balance (debt brake). P. 3.
- Austrian Court of Auditors: The Federal Budget 2012 at a Glance (PDF)
Council of Experts for the Assessment of Macroeconomic Development: Annual Report 1967/68 , in particular p. 95:
"With taxes, the state pushes back the use of production potential by the private sector and thus creates space for its own absorption (withdrawal effect of taxes)."
- Paul Krugman, June 29, 2014: Charlatans, Cranks and Kansas
Carl Föhl: Analysis of the cycle of wealth formation in the Federal Republic and the ability to influence its distribution. Expert opinion prepared on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Economics. Tübingen 1964. p. 19:
“The effects of the tax burden distribution with a balanced budget depend on whether the taxes are levied on the income of economic entities that would otherwise have used the taxed income shares for consumption expenditure, or on those that they would have saved . "
Austrian Court of Auditors: Court of Auditors report: Presentation of January 29, 2014 (PDF) p. 10:
“The multiannual financial framework for 2014 to 2020 provides for a reduction in obligations over the seven-year period from 2% to EUR 959.988 billion compared to the current financial framework for 2007 bis 2013 before. "
- Austrian Chamber of Commerce, February 2013: Economic Governance - Economic Policy Management in the EU ( Memento of the original from March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF), p. 8.
- Ewald Nowotny: Reasons and Limits of Public Debt. In: Economics in theory and practice. Berlin and Heidelberg 2002. p. 261. ( online )
- Gustav A. Horn on Gabler Wirtschaftslexikon: structural deficit
- Peter Winkler: Empirical economic research. Berlin and Heidelberg 1997, online p. 93.
- Council of Experts for the Assessment of Overall Economic Development: Annual Report 2010/2011 (PDF), p. 196 f: “The (absolute) output gap is defined as the deviation of the gross domestic product from the production potential. The production potential as the output resulting from normal utilization of the existing capacities, which enables growth without tension in price developments or on the labor market, is a variable that cannot be observed in reality and must be estimated econometrically. "
- Achim Truger: Output gap: Complex, revision-prone and procyclical ( memento of the original from May 20, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF), especially the diagram on p. 4.
- Jürgen Kröger: Challenges to the economic coordination. The effects of the financial crisis and the need for adjustment in the monetary union. In: Sustainable economic policy for Germany and Europe. (Ed. Paul JJ Welfens) Berlin and Heidelberg 2011, p. 105. ( online )
- Stephan Schulmeister, October 29, 2014: The Fiscal Compact - Main Component of a System Crisis (PDF; 372 kB), p. 7: “The procedure developed for the empirical estimation of the NAWRU leads to the fact that every increase in unemployment - regardless of whether due to a financial crisis, an oil price shock or the austerity policy - is reinterpreted into a "structural" one, provided that unemployment does not fall again quickly. Then the (nominal) wage increases must have been too high. This circular reasoning also ensures that the potential output also follows the actual one. If the NAWRU rises after a “shock”, fewer workers are available (the “natural” unemployed are regarded as no longer usable). This also reduces the output gap and every increase in a budget deficit is reinterpreted as a predominantly "structural" one. "
- Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, November 2012: Euro crisis, austerity policy and the European social model. How the crisis policy in southern Europe threatens the social dimension of the EU (PDF)
- Die Presse, May 19, 2014: Fiscal Council calls for structural zero deficit as early as 2015
- Press release of the Fiscal Council (National Debt Committee), May 19, 2014: On compliance with EU fiscal rules in Austria : “In November 2013, the European Commission (EC) came to the conclusion that the budget planning presented by Austria largely complies with the requirements. In the opinion of the Commission, Austria should achieve the structural, medium-term budget target by 2015. "
- FAZ, May 5, 2011: Euro crisis: After the negotiations: Jürgen Kröger (EU Commission) and Rasmus Ruffer (ECB) left high editions.
- European Forum Alpbach: Dr. Jürgen Kroeger
- Jürgen Kröger: Challenges to the economic coordination. The effects of the financial crisis and the need for adjustment in the monetary union. In: Sustainable economic policy for Germany and Europe. (Ed. Paul JJ Welfens) Berlin and Heidelberg 2011, p. 105 ff ( online on Google.Books ).
- Heinz Ginzel: The Austrian administrative reforms and their significance for the national economy: H. Mayer, 1926, p. 30 ( limited preview in the Google book search).
- Federal Ministry of Finance, April 2001: Countdown to the zero deficit performance report 2000-2002 ( Memento from December 3, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
- Format, February 12, 2013: Grasser wanted to privatize for a zero deficit
- Josef Urschitz: A PR gag called zero deficit. Die Presse, January 29, 2010, accessed October 20, 2012 .