Expatica news

300 million gap in budget

17 April 2007

BRUSSELS – A report from the Auditing department indicates that the federal government’s budget comes at least EUR 300 million short. This will make the next administration’s job even harder, said the regulatory office.

The socialist-liberal coalition took three days in March to finally balance its budget. Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt (Flemish liberal Open VLD) said at the time that he had succeeded in securing the planned budget surplus of 0.3 percent of gross national product – a surplus of about EUR 900 million.

A report from the auditing office which will be discussed in Parliament on Wednesday however shows that this statement from the prime minister was very optimistic.

All in all the budget falls short by about EUR 300 million, according to the memo, which lists eight concrete points for which the budget does not provide adequate financing. The addition of 200 extra officers to the federal police, which has been announced, has not been budgeted for, nor have salary increases.

This criticism comes on top of the criticism levelled earlier by the auditing office about the sale of government buildings and other points.

Minister for the Budget Freya Van den Bossche (Socialist SP.A) wants to wait until the debate in Parliament to respond to the report.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news