Full text: Beschäftigungspolitik (72)

tional political level, struggle against unemployment and budget deficits also
means struggle against constantly high real interest rates. The European Cen-
tral Bank should be urged to pursue a balanced monetary poliey. Apart from
the stability objeetive, monetary poliey must also take into aeeount the em-
ployment objective. To coordinate these objeetives, a meehanism between the
social partners as autonomous participants in the coUeetive bargaining proeess
and the independent European Central Bank should be created.
1.11. Ineome Poliey
Unit labour costs together with exchange rates are of deeisive importance
for the eompetitiveness within Europe. The deterioration of eompetitiveness
eaused by devaluations of important trading partners ean be compensated
above aU by ensuring that produetivity grows faster and labour eosts inerease
less than in the devaluating countries. The national ineome and wage poliey
must, therefore, take into aeeount intemational eompetitiveness. Growing in-
temational interdependence and the removal of instruments of exchange rate
poliey within the EMU inerease the importanee ofwage poliey that lies within
the autonomy of the participants in the eoUeetive bargaining proeess. It ean be
expeeted that Austria will eontinue to be able to take advantage of the poliey
of consensus between the social partners and the experienees as a hard eur-
The development of labour eosts deserve partieular attention in eonneetion
with real wage flexibility. Though there were short-term adjustment problems
due to extemal effeets (exchange rate shifts) in the first half ofthe nineties, the
flexibility with whieh real wages reaet to shoeks is relatively high in Austria.
Flexible wage and ineome poliey has in the past represented an important sup-
port in preventing unemployment in Austria. In the Eeonomic and Monetary
Union, wage formation will be of even greater importanee in securing a high
level of employment.
In view ofthe great income disparities between Austria and the new indus-
trial loeations of Southeast Asia and Eastem Europe, an adjustment to the
eonsiderably lower level is neither possible nor desirable. A highly developed
national eeonomy that has reaehed European wage level, eannot retreat but
must inerease its produetivity level by eonstant innovation in order to be able
to maintain the high standard of Iiving.
1.12. Taxes and Fiscal Chal"2es on Labour
The inereasing tiseal burden on the production faetor of labour initiates
substitution effeets and thus limits the growth potential of labour intensive
branehes. In Austria, the produetion faetor of labour has to carry a heavy tax
burden even after the 1994 tax reform (e.g. introduetion of municipal tax es)
and social seeurity contributions are signitieantly higher than the OECD aver-
age. Regarding the tax load ratio, Austria lies in the upper middle tield while

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