Belgian wage costs among highest in the world
11 April 2005
BRUSSELS – Companies and workers in Belgium face some of the highest compulsory charges and taxes in the world, according to a new study.
On Monday, the Flemish newspaper ‘De Morgen’ and ‘The Financial Times’ reported that labour costs in Belgium are around 10 times those of the European Union’s new eastern countries – and they could be the highest in the world.
Once ‘non-wage’ labour costs like compulsory health, social security and pension payments have been factored in to the overall labour bill, the average Belgian worker costs EUR 53,577 a year to employ, the study found. In the US the average labour bill comes in at EUR 33,195.
Equally worrying for Belgian employers, say analysts, is the fact that the Mercer study shows labour costs are far lower in many of the European Union’s new eastern member countries.
In Latvia, for example, the average total annual cost of employing a worker is EUR 4,752; in Lithuania it is EUR 5,649; and in Poland EUR 8,257.
The Flemish daily ‘De Tijd’ also reported that Belgium has the second highest level of company taxation in the EU.
A study by professor Hylke Vandenbussche from the University of Leuven found the real tax level was in the region of 30 percent – higher than the EU average of 21.59 percent. Vandenbussche based his conclusions on figures from 1,000 companies.
The report puts the lie to claims that taxation in Belgium is decreasing, said the paper.
[Copyright Expatica 2005]
Subject: Belgian news