Two-thirds of employees to lose spending power

Two-thirds of employees to lose spending power

5th November 2014, Comments 0 comments

The Belgian Finance Minister Johan Van Overtveldt (Flemish nationalist) has conceded that two-thirds of all Belgian employees will lose part of their spending power.

Mr Van Overtveldt was responding to figures calculated by the study centre of the Francophone socialist party PS, one of the main opposition parties in Belgium.

The PS claims that a worker making EUR 3,100 before tax will lose EUR 336 as a result of the measures that are being taken by the new centre-right administration.

At first Mr Van Overtveldt claimed that the PS figures contained big mistakes.

Today his office publishes figures showing a worker on EUR 3,000 before tax will lose EUR 123 euros as a result of the government's action.

Mr Van Overtveldt's figures take little account of the loss of spending power triggered by higher taxes on tobacco, DERV fuel, home renovations and plastic surgery.

These extra taxes account for the EUR 200 difference between the two parties' figures.

Mr Van Overtveldt told VRT Radio that the PS figures take account of a person who smokes, fills his tank a lot and gets plastic surgery done, but that such a person doesn't accurately reflect society at large.

The Belgian Finance Minister points out that thanks to government measures people on the lowest wages will be better off: a worker on EUR 2,000 before takes gains EUR 126.

Less spending power but more jobs

The two-thirds of the workforce that will lose spending power are the people who are on the highest wages.

People on the lowest wages will benefit as a result of government action.

A worker on the minimum wage will be EUR 182 euros better off.

Mr Van Overtveldt defends government action by pointing to the impact on job creation: "Up to 100,000 people will find a job as a result of government action. This creates extra spending power. Globally for society at large the government is having a big impact."

Mr Van Overtveldt rejected criticism that weak economic growth would mean the jobs were never created.

 

Flandersnews.be / Expatica

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