Belgium aims for fifth straight budget surplus

22nd April 2005, Comments 0 comments

22 Aprill 2005 BRUSSELS – The Belgian government has confirmed a target of a budget surplus for the year 2005. Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt’s cabinet, at a meeting that ended shortly after midnight on Friday, calculated that the government would collect more tax money than previously forecast. It would be the fifth year in a row that the government has a budget surplus. The cabinet also stuck to its own 2.2 percent economic growh forecast, Reuters reported Friday. Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Mini

22 Aprill 2005
 
BRUSSELS –  The Belgian government has confirmed a target of a budget surplus for the year 2005.
 
Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt’s cabinet, at a meeting that ended shortly after midnight on Friday, calculated that the government would collect more tax money than previously forecast.
 
It would be the fifth year in a row that the government has a budget surplus.
 
The cabinet also stuck to its own 2.2 percent economic growh forecast, Reuters reported Friday.
 
Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx called this figure cautious. “It is prudent in principle in case growth is less than 2.2 percent,” she said after the meeting.
 
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Didier Reynders said the government would raise EUR 1 billion more than expected in tax receipts, EUR 600 million of which would go to offset a deficit in social security.
 
This estimate is based on tax receipts from the first quarter of this year and projected payments from companies, French-language daily Le Soir reported on Friday.
 
Budget Minister Johan Vande Lanotte had expressed  confidence about plugging an estimated EUR 300 million to EUR 600 million hole in the federal budget ahead of a meeting last Sunday at Verhofstadt’s official residence in Brussels.

“If all existing measures are properly put into place … we will without a doubt not need any new measures,”  Lanotte said at the time.

“We are starting with a bonus,” he added, citing largely sound fiscal balance sheets and policies.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news

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