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Budget Committee announced discretionary spending cuts

Cuts to discretionary spending revealed

Cuts in discretionary spending were fixed by the Budget Committee of the National Council on Wednesday to a total of 495.8 million Euros.

Although the government coalition parties SPO and OVP have not decided on the exact details yet the biggest cut is expected to be in the teaching and women's ministry which will see a reduction of 68.4 million euros to their discretionary spending.

A further 42.2 million euros will be saved by cutting back in the new field of science and research. Economic Minister OVP Reinhold Mitterlehner said the money will come from the department's reserves and will be used to help prevent loss of funding for other areas such as university budgets. In mid-2013 the amount of reserves in the Science Ministry were thought to be around 517 million Euros.

However the Green Party have criticised this approach arguing that reserves should be left untouched. "Any reduction in this area is a reduction of the science budge," said spokesperson for the party Sigrid Maurer.

Other cuts include a 49 million Euros reduction in discretionary spending for the Ministry of Social Affairs, 41.6 million Euros for the Ministry of Justice and 38.4 million Euros for the Interior Ministry.

After the teaching and women's ministry and the Ministry of Social Affairs, the defence budget will take the third biggest hit with 45.4 million euros cut. Although excepting the cuts and exploring options to save money, SPO Minister for Defence Gerlad Klug said that the reforms planned for military service will still go ahead.

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