Belgium ends the 2023 budget year with a smaller deficit than feared: “And that without affecting the middle class”

Belgium ends the 2023 budget year with a smaller deficit than feared: “And that without affecting the middle class”
Belgium ends the 2023 budget year with a smaller deficit than feared: “And that without affecting the middle class”
--

State Secretary for Budget Alexia Bertrand (Open VLD). — © BELGA

Belgium will end the 2023 budget year with a deficit that is 6.5 billion smaller than feared when it was drawn up. This is mainly the result of stronger economic growth, writes De Tijd based on provisional figures from the federal government service Policy & Support (BOSA).

The federal government ends the year with a deficit of 3.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and the states and municipalities with a deficit of 1.3 percent of GDP. Together this amounts to 4.6 percent of GDP or 26.7 billion euros.

That result is less bad than expected. Compared to the October 2023 estimate, this is an improvement of 3.4 billion euros. Primary federal expenditure in particular (without interest charges) fell sharply, by €1.3 billion, because, among other things, the social energy tariff cost less, as did the support for families who heat with oil.

Compared to the initial preparation of the 2023 budget, the improvement is 6.5 billion euros, a deviation that is mainly related to the economic growth of our country. This is not without significance, because the government and parliament were then concerned with the question of whether the deficit would amount to 5.8 or 6.1 percent of GDP. That discussion led to the resignation of Eva De Bleeker (Open VLD) as State Secretary for the Budget.

“Although we have had to tackle one crisis after another during this legislature, we have made an effort of 11 billion euros. And that without affecting the middle class,” De Bleeker’s successor Alexia Bertrand (Open VLD) responds in an interview.

READ ALSO. How much does the middle class earn? And from what income are you ‘rich’?

The bad news is that despite above-average growth, Belgium is still managing to increase the budget deficit compared to 2022, when a negative balance of 3.5 percent of GDP was recorded.

The article is in Dutch

Belgium

Tags: Belgium ends budget year smaller deficit feared affecting middle class

-

PREV Greenpeace defaces offices of parties and interest groups in Brussels
NEXT CARD. 40 extra section checks in Flanders: here you have to watch out for a fine