May 27, 2024

Taylor Daily Press

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Federal government kicks off first weekend of budget talks: ‘No margin for extra spending’

Federal government kicks off first weekend of budget talks: ‘No margin for extra spending’

Vincent van Peteghem (left) and Alexia Bertrand with Prime Minister Alexandre De Croo and Peter De Roover.© BELGA

The federal government will begin talks on budget consolidation around 1 p.m. on Sunday. Bilateral exchanges of views have already taken place on Saturday afternoon.

gjssource: BELGA

On Friday morning, the government met with the governor of the National Bank and the directors of the Planning Bureau, the debt authority and the monitoring committee. The latter body published a report on Thursday on our country’s budget situation, the traditional starting shot for budget talks. According to the monitoring committee, all Belgian governments are heading towards one 27.4 billion euros, which is more than 6 billion euros less than expected in October. For the federal government, this represents an improvement of €3.2 billion. This is because inflation is lower than first thought and because energy prices have fallen, so the cost of the social rate is lower than expected.

However, there are also cause for concern. If policy remains unchanged, the deficit will quickly rise to 41.6 billion euros or 6.1 percent of GDP by 2028. Then debt is ample 117% of the GDP Compared to just over 106 percent now. Moreover, the imminent 2024 elections threaten to thwart major reforms.

CD&V Deputy Prime Minister Vincent van Petegem insisted on that on Saturday morning. He said there must be reforms to ensure people work longer, otherwise it will be “guilty absenteeism”. Radio 1. Secretary of State for the Budget Alexia Bertrand pleads (Open VLD) no libre Then again for budgetary discipline. There is no margin for additional expenses. Like van Peteghem, Bertrand is calling for more comprehensive pension reform, but this debate is not being discussed alongside budgetary control.

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