New on February 1: train tickets will become more expensive, young people can go to a psychologist for free | Domestic

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Train tickets will become 6 percent more expensive

Railway company NMBS will increase most rates by 5.9 percent on February 1. This concerns the prices of, among other things standard tickets, subscriptions and multi-journey tickets.

According to NMBS, the higher prices reflect high inflation, which has also increased the railway company’s costs. The increase is also in accordance with the public service contract with the government, the railway company says. In 2023, rates had also risen sharply, by an average of around 9 percent.

LOOK. At the end of last year, not everyone was aware that NMBS ticket prices were becoming more expensive: “Even more expensive?”

The price increase relates to regulated rates such as commuter school and commuter season tickets, the Standard Ticket (the regular train ticket) and the Senior and Youth Tickets 2nd class, as well as the ticket with a reduced allowance. The non-regulated rates (such as the Youth Multi, Standard Multi and Local Multi multi-journey cards) will also become 5.9 percent more expensive.

Only the prices of the City Pass in Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi and Liège and the bicycle supplement remain unchanged.

Free offer of primary psychological care for children and young people up to 24 years of age

Children and young people up to the age of 24 can use one from February 1 free offer from conventional primary care psychologists and educational psychologists. This is a new step in the reform of Federal Minister of Health Frank Vandenbroucke (Vooruit) to make psychological care in primary care more accessible.

The free offer for children and young people is part of the new agreement between the Riziv and the 32 mental health care networks. “The aim of the reform is to make mental health care more accessible and to make it accessible, local and close to the living, learning and playing environment of children and young people,” Minister Vandenbroucke explains. “That is why we also want to put clinical psychologists and educational psychologists to work outside the walls of their practice to avoid long-term psychological problems.”

Illustration image. ©Getty

The number of reimbursed interventions over a period of 12 months depends on the type of care and the type of network (depending on age). The health insurance pays the largest part of the price per session, and does so immediately via the third-party payment scheme. In concrete terms, this concerns, for example, community-oriented interventions (group sessions with at least ten people) at the CLB, in schools or in OverKop houses. These are also free for adults.

For children and young people up to the age of 23, first-line psychological support is also provided free of charge, including at the CLB, in the school, in the practice or at home, with a maximum of ten group or individual sessions. Short-term treatments for children and young people with mild to moderate problems will also no longer require co-payments, with a maximum of twenty sessions.​

Stricter framework for shared scooters, bicycles and scooters in Brussels

In Brussels, a stricter framework applies to shared scooters, bicycles and scooters from February 1. For example, the number of shared scooters drops from 20,000 to 8,000 and the scooters and bicycles are allowed to can only be parked in the designated zones.

© Wouter Van Vooren

According to the new regulations, users will no longer be able to lock their vehicle outside a designated zone at the end of their journey: the so-called drop zones. To date, Brussels Mobility and the Brussels municipalities have set up more than 1,300 such drop zones. This should increase to 1,500 in the coming weeks.

The system will be operational from February 1 in eleven Brussels municipalities: Ixelles, Etterbeek, Evere, Ganshoren, Jette, Koekelberg, Sint-Agatha-Berchem, Sint-Gillis, Sint-Pieters-Woluwe, Oudergem and Watermaal-Bosvoorde. For the remaining eight municipalities, operators will use their GPS tracking system to lock virtual drop zones at locations chosen by the authorities. Anyone who parks outside those zones will not be able to cancel their rental.

Lawyers may inspect judicial investigation files

Lawyers are now allowed to view files of ongoing judicial investigations via Just-on-web, the web application of the justice department. Until now, this was only possible for files in which the investigation has been closed. According to Minister of Justice Paul Van Tigchelt (Open Vld), lawyers have been asking for this for some time.

Previously, lawyers who wanted to check the status of a judicial investigation, for example to prepare a hearing in chambers, were only allowed to physically view the file at the court registry.

Van Tigchelt emphasizes this Not all files are already available digitally are. According to him, some judicial districts are less advanced in this regard than others. The files in the research phase can only be viewed, not printed.

Also read:

New on January 1: significantly more expensive cigarettes, higher wages and no more paper eco vouchers

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