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11. 11. 09. - 11:00

Black market labour on the increase in Austria

By Lisa Chapman

Black market work has risen in Austria this year because of the economic crisis, according to a new study.

Research by Linz University released today (Mon) said a growing number of Austrians were "turning to black labour" to make up for falling legal incomes.

The study added that higher fees and taxes and "sinking tax morality" had also been factors in the increase of illegal labour.

The research also claimed that illegal labour will cost the official economy 20.5 billion Euros in 2009 compared to 19.92 million in 2008, an increase of around five per cent.

The news comes after the Austrian Office for Control of Illegal Employment (KIAB) announced earlier this year it had handed out more than 15 million Euros in fines after finding 5,720 illegally-employed foreigners at companies in the first half of the year.

Peoples Party (VP) State Secretary for Finance Reinhold Lopatka said the 14,622 firms employing them had been fined 15.87 million Euros.

He added that the percentage of illegally-employed foreigners among all employed people at those firms had been 16.22 per cent - 5,720 of 35,269 workers.

Lopatka warned the situation would become worse in the recession. "Opposition to paying taxes increases in a crisis," he said.

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