Expatica news

EUR 10m to compensate energy costs

7 December 2005

BRUSSELS — The federal government will pay schools and the non-profit sector EUR 10 million to compensate them for the higher cost of energy.

The inner Cabinet reached an agreement over the plan on Tuesday night, newspaper ‘De Tijd’ reported.

In addition, the government will also invite the regional governments to discuss investments in energy efficiency projects.

Finance Minister Didier Reynders revealed to cabinet colleagues how much of the increase in VAT revenue could be linked back to higher heating oil costs accrued by schools and non-profit groups dependent on regional authorities.

On Tuesday morning, he estimated that figure to be in the region of EUR 6 and 8 million, but after including schools in the Brussels region, that figure rose to EUR 9 million.

The government subsequently decided to allocate EUR 10 million to regional authorities to divide among schools and non-profit groups.

However, it is a one-off payment for the winter of 2005-06. For coming winters, Minister Reynders has devised a system of investment in energy saving projects.
The cabinet supports the second part of the Reform Movement MR minister’s plan as well, opening up the road for negotiations between the federal government and regional authorities.

The Flemish community indicated some time ago it would allocate EUR 5 million to compensate schools and non-profit groups for the high cost of heating.

The French-speaking community and Wallonian regional government said on Tuesday afternoon they will allocate EUR 3 million and EUR 1.32 million respectively.

The issue of compensation for the high cost of energy has been up for discussion for several weeks, but it now appears a definitive solution has been found to the issue.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news