"2007 budget figures better than expected"
18 October 2007, BRUSSELS – The caretaker government will meet this morning at 8 a.m. to discuss the 2007 budget. This year is expected to end with a deficit of EUR 700 to 750 million. Earlier this week it was stated that the deficit would be EUR 1.5 billion.
18 October 2007
BRUSSELS – The caretaker government will meet this morning at 8 a.m. to discuss the 2007 budget. This year is expected to end with a deficit of EUR 700 to 750 million. Earlier this week it was stated that the deficit would be EUR 1.5 billion.
According to the finance ministry, the estimates for the rest of this year are looking good, which means that 2007 may well be rounded off with a deficit of 0.2 instead of 0.5 of GDP.
The monitoring committee created by the outgoing government a few weeks ago to keep an eye on the budget, calculated that the budget deficit for this year would come to EUR 1.5 billion, or 0.5 percent of the GDP.
Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt still wants to ensure a balanced budget and he therefore convened a meeting today to closely look at the budget. This is not an 'official' budget check, as a caretaker government can hardly make any real decisions.
"It will be a budget check done with the hands tied behind our back", was the comment.
The finance ministry says, however, that the final result at the end of this year will look a lot better. The estimates for tax revenues are reportedly looking quite rosy. VAT revenues should be on the increase, primary expenditure is falling, the social premiums paid by self-employed are higher than expected, state-owned companies are showing a higher dividend and European funds will not be completely used up.
All this should result in 2007 being closed off with a deficit of EUR 700 to 750 million, i.e. 0.2 percent of GDP, the figure originally quoted in August by the caretaker government.
If the future government goes along with the caretaker government decision to sell a number of buildings, an additional EUR 200 million can still be added. Orange-blue wants to present a balanced budget for 2008.
[Copyright: Expatica News]
Subject: Belgian news