New state fund for heating bills

4th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

4 October 2004, BRUSSELS - With the price of crude oil hitting record highs, Belgium's minister for social integration wants to create a social fund for heating bills, it emerged on Monday.

4 October 2004

BRUSSELS - With the price of crude oil hitting record highs, Belgium's minister for social integration wants to create a social fund for heating bills, it emerged on Monday.

A decision on the issue is expected this week, to give time to set up the fund for winter 2004, said minister Christian Dupont in an interview with public service broadcaster RTBF.

The fund would kick in to help people on the margins of society every time the price of heating fuel went over a certain level.

Dupont believes that negotiations on the issue will be successful and he has also urged the contribution of the Belgian petroleum federation to the fund.

Gaeten Van de Werve, secretary general of the petroleum federation, has already indicated the body will make a gesture to help.

The question of whether the funds will become permanent must be decided jointly by Dupont and Economy Minister Marc Verwilghen.

Verwilghen declined to comment on the matter, which he said still remained open.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news

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