November 27, 2022

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Finance Minister Van Bettieghem (CD&V) limits the payment of surplus profits of energy companies, Van der Straiten sticks to the proposal |  interior

Finance Minister Van Bettieghem (CD&V) limits the payment of surplus profits of energy companies, Van der Straiten sticks to the proposal | interior

CD&V Deputy Prime Minister Vincent van Betteghem wants to go far less in skimming surplus profits in the energy sector than the proposal made by Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten (Groen). “If we put something on the table, the court will not be able to destroy it in two months,” he announced today before the start of the federal government’s budget meeting. However, Van der Straeten sticks to her suggestion.

There has been talk of cutting excess profits for energy producers for some time now. More than a week ago, Europe proposed such a mechanism. Then Minister van der Straten put his proposal on the table. It will be worth €4.7 billion: €1.8 billion this year and €2.9 billion next year, although revenue for 2023 depends on how the market develops.

The green proposal goes further than Europe has proposed, although it is always heard that Europe allows it as well. For example, for electricity companies, a tax of 100% will be imposed on all income that exceeds the limit of 130 euros per megawatt-hour. Europe proposes a cap of €180 per megawatt-hour. In addition, it will apply for a period of two years, while the European regulation for a period of seven months.

The legal framework

It is clear that Finance Minister Van Bettieghem wants to go further than his colleague from the energy company. Entering 16 rue de la Loi before the start of the budget meeting, he noted that the proposal from Europe provides a “very clear legal framework” and that he is willing to reduce excess profits within that framework. “I’ve always said that if we put something on the table, we should make sure it doesn’t get destroyed by the court in two weeks or two months,” Van Bettieghem said. That would bring in much less money – money that the government could use to support the budget.

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The proposal I made last week respects the European framework. The European framework is a mandatory minimum framework. It allows member states to go further. I confirm what I said in Parliament: it is now a question of political will,” said Minister van der Straiten. On the one hand, there are companies that are making extraordinary profits and on the other there are families who can no longer pay their bills. I am on the side of families.

Van Bettieghem also wants the policy statement Prime Minister Alexander de Croo reads in the lower house on Tuesday to talk about his tax reform. Before the summer, Van Bettighem came up with a scheme for such a repair. “Fiscal reform is on the table. The discussion is going on within the government. I have always said that this budget should also relate to the reforms that we can do in the coming period,” she said. “We see today that people have a feeling that the work is no longer paying off. And we have to make sure that the work is paying off effectively.”

What exactly is on the table now?

There are also several proposals on the table, such as eliminating the housing bonus for a second home. This could save the government up to $100 million. The government also wants to adjust the time balance, which you can do to care for your children until they are eight years old. The government wants to limit this to five years. This could result in 12.5 million euros annually.

The energy discount will be extended and a bank tax and a digital tax will be levied on banks and internet companies such as Google, respectively.

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