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Home News Dispute on who will pay the bill of the federal budget deficit

Dispute on who will pay the bill of the federal budget deficit

Published on 04/03/2013

Despite Flemish minister-president Kris Peeters’ CD&V insistence that Flanders has already contributed more than its share towards the Belgian budget, fellow party member Steven Vanackere and federal foreign minister Didier Reynders MR believe the regions should support more. Peeters, who sees Reynders’ stance as 'transparent political games', states: “He only says that because his party MR is in the opposition in the Walloon and Brussels government. He has obviously spent too much time abroad recently to notice what is going on in our country.” Reynders on the other hand threatens to close the federal tap unless the regions make more efforts to contribute. Tensions are mounting in the run-up to the budget control. Today the federal government will find out exactly how much needs to be raised as the monitoring committee, a taskforce of top officials, will present its report. Finance minister Steven Vanackere CD&V made it clear yesterday that the federal government may need to raise more than two billion euros extra to keep the budget on track, while the Flemish government will need 300 to 500 million euros to balance its budget. Europe views the country as a whole. The allover deficit of the federal government, the communities, regions and local authorities is taken into account. The dispute will hinge on the 350 million euros in so-called usurped powers: powers such as metropolitan policy, which is strictly speaking a regional power, but has been traditionally financed by the federal government. Reynders referred to the coalition agreement to eventually pass the bill with the devolved powers to the regions. He also wants the regions to pay the bill of the pensions of its own civil service. Even though Vanackere is less insistent, he does believe the regions should take up their financial responsibility.