More than ever, May 1 has become the day of great political promises: this is what the various parties are making


May 1 was once the high day of socialists and socialists alone. Those times are far behind us. Today other parties also claim Labor Day. They all throw presents to entice those who work. More than ever, May 1 has become a day of great promises. From higher minimum wages and more vacation days to a lowering of the retirement age. These are all proposals that come with a hefty price tag. Only N-VA and CD&V missed Labor Day. The Christian Democrats will wait until Ascension Day to celebrate. Then it is Rerum Novarum, the day of the Christian workers’ movement. But what do the other political parties promise their voters forty days before the elections?

Moving forward: higher minimum wages

In her speech on the eve of May 1, Vooruit chairwoman Melissa Depraetere argued for an increase in the minimum wage. Today in our country that is approximately 13 euros per hour. If it depends on the Socialists, that amount should increase to 15 euros per hour. Converted into a monthly salary, this means an increase from 2,000 euros to 2,500 euros gross. Depraetere mainly markets the increase in minimum wages as an instrument to increase the difference between working and not working. “Many more people will want to work this way,” he said.

Melissa Depraetere advocates higher minimum wages in her May 1 speech. — © Fred Debrock

On Labor Day itself, Depraetere launched another proposal, this time around pensions. Anyone who starts working at the age of eighteen should be able to receive a full pension at the age of 60. “Anyone who has worked for 42 years has done his part and well deserved his rest,” according to Depraetere. The legal retirement age in our country is now 65. By 2030 this will increase to 67 years. Ex-chairman Conner Rousseau also advocated not only looking at age, but also at the years worked that someone has. But Vooruit bit the dust during the last legislature.

READ ALSO. “Same calculation for civil servants, employees and self-employed people”: this is what all Flemish parties want to do with your pension

Green: more statutory leave

“May 1st is no longer the day of the socialists,” Petra De Sutter, deputy prime minister of Groen, said firmly on the radio. She launched a proposal to expand the statutory minimum leave from 20 to 25 days. Compared to other Europeans, Belgians receive too little statutory leave, Groen believes. Especially those who work in the private sector for a low wage, such as a cleaner, waiter or construction worker, often have to make do with the minimum. “Employees from the banking world, chemicals, government or education can count on many more days,” says De Sutter. According to Groen, five additional statutory days of leave per year are an important step to improve the balance between work and private life for everyone.

Open VLD: more pension for those who work

Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (Open VLD) also climbed onto the stage for a May 1 speech. There he emerged as the liberal leader in the campaign. The Prime Minister demolished some of the election proposals from coalition partners Groen, CD&V and Vooruit. And N-VA, which wants to build a prison in Kosovo, also had to pay the price. “On the left they are already spending money, on the right they want to destroy the country,” De Croo lashed out. “We are the only ones who have our priorities in order.” De Croo himself also came up with a striking proposal. Open VLD wants those who have worked to receive 500 euros more in pension at the end of the day than those who have not worked.

READ ALSO.Alexander De Croo (Open VLD) lashes out at coalition partners and N-VA: “They are already spending money on the left, they want to destroy the country on the right”

Vlaams Belang: 239 euros net for those who work

Vlaams Belang also claims to be the party of working people. During the family day in Plopsaland, chairman Tom Van Grieken presented his purchasing power plan. This should provide working Flemish people with at least 239 euros net every month. Vlaams Belang copies some of the recipes from the tax reform of Minister of Finance Vincent Van Peteghem (CD&V). For example, the party is considering an increase in the tax-free amount and a reduction in tax brackets. The cut in the migration bill and an independent Flanders will also bring in money, according to Van Grieken.

(Read more below the photo)

Tom Van Grieken (Vlaams Belang) promises an extra 239 euros net for those who work during the family day in Plopsaland

Tom Van Grieken (Vlaams Belang) promises an extra 239 euros net for those who work during the family day in Plopsaland — © Fred Debroc

PVDA: an outstretched hand to Vooruit

No real surprises at PVDA on Labor Day. A millionaire’s tax, higher wages and a return of the retirement age to 65 remain the tried and tested recipes of the far left to convince the voter. Hedebouw did expressly reach out to Vooruit to realize these proposals. “Today the sad truth is that if you vote for Vooruit, you get the N-VA for free,” according to Hedebouw. He presents his party as the strategic left-wing voice on June 9.

  • Remove VAT on food and basic products
  • Restore free negotiations on collective wage increases. Removing the government’s ability to ban wage increases. Revised of the wage blocking law of 1996. A minimum wage of 17 euros gross per hour
  • Blocking energy prices and capping the price of essential foodstuffs such as flour, pasta, rice, semolina and AAapples. The excise duties on gas and electricity that the Vivaldi government added to the bill will be abolished
  • Increasing the minimum savings interest rate and lowering the interest rate on mortgages. Abolition of bank charges
  • The automatic indexation of wages and replacement income is guaranteed and extended to employees who are not entitled to it today
  • Gradually phase out the distinction between tax treatment of wages and extra-legal benefits, such as a salary car or meal vouchers, for more net benefits for everyone
  • Higher minimum wages. The minimum wage is always at least 60% of the median wage
  • Reform the wage standard law, so that there can be free negotiations for fair wages
  • Protect and improve the automatic index so that wages naturally increase when prices rise
  • Make the difference between the highest and lowest wages fairer by asking the social partners to record the difference within a company
More-than-ever-May-1-has-become-the-day-1714597597_751_More-than-ever-May-1-has-VLAAMS BELANG
  • Higher net wages due to the abolition of the crisis contribution, the increase of the tax-free allowance to 13,560 euros and the reduction of the tax bracket from 40% to 30%
  • An increase in the minimum wage by 5% in Flanders
More-than-ever-May-1-has-become-the-day-1714597597_751_More-than-ever-May-1-has-OPEN VLD
  • Expansion of flexi-jobs
  • Also earn tax-free additional income from your own employer: legal ceiling is being revised, no taxes
  • Abolition of the 45% bracket in personal tax
  • Expand and increase job bonus
  • At least 500 euros difference between working and not working
  • Those who work should have more net incomeand through tax reform: for a young working couple up to 7,500 euros extra per year
  • The automatic indexation of wages is maintained to protect the purchasing power of citizens
  • More purchasing power for the elderly through pension reform
  • More respect for savers: savers must receive correct compensation from the bank for their savings
  • We protect fringe benefits for employees such as meal vouchers and company cars
  • Banks and players in the energy and telecom market must always offer consumers the most advantageous contract. They must also be able to switch easily and free of charge, and price comparators must be pre-populated with consumer data
  • Housing must become more affordable, including through the abolition of registration fees below 250,000 euros for the first and only home
  • Work must pay more, through a tax reform that reduces labor costs
  • A full pension for everyone also helps improve purchasing power. Among other things, there must be a second pension pillar in all sectors
  • Affordable bills are also a key to greater purchasing power. Just like fair taxes and strong social security
  • We have chosen to adjust the tax rates as a matter of priority so that only the highest incomes are taxed at the highest rate. We will completely abolish outdated taxes, such as the special social security contribution
  • If multiple indexations take place per year, this must also be possible via a net index. This means that the employee’s purchasing power is protected and the employer’s wage costs are not increased
  • The difference between working and not working must increase and amount to at least 500 euros net
  • The average shopping cart is too expensive compared to our neighboring countries. We make them cheaper by tackling the main causes. We are reducing the main levies that only weigh on prices in this country
  • To strengthen the affordability of childcare for everyone who works and pays taxes, we make the invoice 100% tax deductible

The article is in Dutch

Tags: day great political promises parties making


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