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Government launches heating helpline

Published on 27/09/2005

27 September 2005

BRUSSELS – The Belgian government has launched a helpline to inform the public about a newly introduced rebate on heating oil bills.

Consumers can call 02 33 66 999 to find out if they are eligible to benefit from a deal agreed this week by the government to help consumers cope with the recent rise in oil prices

Under a three point plan, people heating their properties with oil can claim back VAT on all bills from 1 June to 1 October 2005.

Claim forms can either be picked up from local post offices, tax offices on the website of the ministry of finance. Applications must be accompanied by copies of the bills from the relevant four month period.

From the start of October, oil consumers can also enjoy reduced prices direct on delivery, with the rates depending on the quantity purchased.

Customers will also be given the option to voluntarily pay their bills in 12 monthly instalments, with special measures being taken to ensure this does not become a cost burden for smaller distributors.The government says it plans to introduce similar VAT reductions for gas consumption in the coldest winter months of January, February and March.

As yet there are no proposals on the table for electricity, although this could change if there is a sharp rise in costs.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news