Belgian wages rising faster than neighbours
8 November 2005, BRUSSELS — Wages in Belgium have been increasing faster than the average in neighbouring countries France, Germany and the Netherlands, with the difference amounting to 2.9 percent since 1996.
8 November 2005
BRUSSELS — Wages in Belgium have been increasing faster than the average in neighbouring countries France, Germany and the Netherlands, with the difference amounting to 2.9 percent since 1996.
A Central Business Council report indicated further on Tuesday that wage rises in Belgium will be 2.1 percent higher than neighbouring countries in 2005-06.
The report gives an interim analysis of an existing agreement which put in black and white a cautious base rate of 4.5 percent, somewhat lower than the expected average wage rises of 5.3 percent in neighbouring countries.
The aim was to close an existing gap in wage rises, but the business council is now saying that the expected wage rises outside of Belgium will only amount to 3.1 percent.
The lower than expected growth is due to especially to wage moderation in Germany and the Netherlands, Flemish financial newspaper 'De Tijd' reported on Tuesday.
Council chairman Robert Tollet said the wage deals signed in Belgium fall within the scope of the agreement.
However, the indexation of wages to living costs has pushed Belgian salaries higher (due to higher fuel costs).
This means wage developments in Belgium for 2005-06 will amount to 5.2 percent, 2.1 percent more than the average recorded by neighbouring countries.
The business council has made an annual report every year since 1996 comparing Belgian wage costs to those of its three surrounding neighbours.
The aim is to keep Belgian wage rises on a par with those abroad to protect employment levels and the nation's competitiveness.
Employers and trades unions can now respond to the council's report and the federal government may also intervene to close the burgeoning wage rise gap.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news