May 30, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

Complete News World

De Croo’s budget proposals haunt PS and CD&V

The prime minister smuggled both minimum pensions and tax reform into the debate over extrabudgetary efforts this weekend. It sparked a major upset between PS and CD&V.

With renewed courage, the federal government kicked in again around 7 p.m. Sunday. All previous talks came to nothing this weekend, but Prime Minister Alexander de Croo (Open VLD) continues to make an impact. And Sunday evening there was still no white smoke. The talks will continue on Monday.

The commitment remains clear: De Croo wants to save more to push the budget in the right direction. PS and Ecolo are less keen on this and don’t ask for any extra effort at all.

The latter also turned out to be the case on Sunday at the start of the new talks. “Our position remains that there is no need for additional efforts,” the Socialist Party said. There they stress that the economy is still very fragile and, thanks to some windfalls, the budget numbers are actually better than expected. But the way de Croo wants to save is sounding alarm bells among other government parties.

minimum pension

The prime minister was considering an additional effort of €300m to achieve a good figure in Europe in the future. Therefore, he suggested canceling the last tranche in order to increase the minimum pension and increase unemployment benefits and living wages.

For the French-speaking socialists, this is “totally unacceptable”. They want at all times to avoid the debate over pension reform being drawn into budgetary control.

At the same time, De Croo also looked firmly in the direction of Finance Minister Vincent van Peteghem (CD&V) with his proposals, even if savings was separated from the main discussion about tax reform, which CD&V had long been pushing for.

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It is no coincidence that CD&V Chairman Sami Mahdi departed on Sunday VTM News Understand that “the budget exercise should not be used to completely empty Van Peteghem’s tax reform.” “This will make it impossible to achieve tax reform which should ensure that people who work have more net left over.”

It remains to be seen how far De Croo jumps in the finale.