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‘Do menial work for 87p-an-hour or LOSE your state handouts’: Austria is set to force migrants to earn their keep – but left wingers slam proposals as ‘slavery’

  • Sebastain Kurz says migrants in Austria should do work to earn their keep
  • Added they should do community jobs to help them integrate in society
  • Explained they would work 15 to 30 hours a week for one euro an hour
  • But left wing parties have said that it almost amounts to slave labour 

Austria could be set to force refugees to do menial work for 87p an hour – or risk losing state handouts from the government.

Foreign minister Sebastian Kurz said many asylum seekers were ‘illiterate’ and should be made to carry out mandatory community jobs to help integrate them into society.

They would be required to work between 15 and 30 hours a week for just one euro an hour on work like street cleaning and municipal gardening, Kurz said.

He is now calling on coalition partners of his right-wing OVP party to support the proposals when a bill comes before parliament.

Left-wing parties in the wealthy Alpine state have branded the scheme as ‘one step away from slave labour’.

Kurz told a press conference: ‘It was reported last year that many refugees are highly-skilled, but in fact many are not.

‘Among those from Afghanistan alone, there are many that are illiterate.’

The Minister has also proposed sanctions for refugees who do not attend German language or ‘Austrain values’ courses, and has also said a ban on full face veils is under consideration.


His comments follow a major report released by the Foreign Ministry outlining the number of migrants and refugees in Austria.

The released figures show there were 1.8 million people in Austria with migrant backgrounds in



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