“It is those who pay the taxes who will reimburse”: has Belgium been too generous for energy aid?

After an initial heating bonus of 100 euros, a basic package for the months of November and December 2022 for gas (135 euros/month) and electricity (61 euros/month) has been decided by the federal government, i.e. 196 euros per month to help Belgian households get through this crisis. According to Europe, Belgium would have distributed far too generous “energy” aid to its inhabitants. This, while the budget deficit of our country is one of the worst in Europe, or 5.8% deficit.

On the set of It’s Not Everyday Sunday, N-VA Assemblywoman Kathleen Depoorter reacted: “We were too generous and we didn’t really target who we were going to give help to. Solidarity is not given to everyone”, did she say. According to her, some people who will be able to benefit from this aid package do not really need it. “The Vivaldi forgot that solidarity must be reimbursed. That’s the problem.”

“Now we are at this: historic deficit, exploding debts… We risk missing 280 million euros from the European Commission’s Recovery Fund since we have not carried out any reform. The situation is really serious “, continues Kathleen Depoorter. A study by the National Bank and the University of Ghent has also shown that middle and wealthy households have deposited the money from these aids in a savings account.

A tax reduction

The solution, for MP N-VA, would be their bill which aims to be able to deduct 500 euros from taxes per household for everyone. “We were going to reach people who work and pay taxes”she insists. “Because it’s the people who pay the taxes who are now going to pay back everything you’ve wasted.”

Words that do not make everyone agree, in particular Pierre-Yves Demargne, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Labor, also present on the set of It’s not every day on Sunday. The socialist recalls that the Vilvaldi has set up “aid mechanisms which are for some targeted and effective.” He speaks in particular of the social energy tariff for gas and electricity. “This mechanism takes everyone’s situation into account and we should have been able to extend it”he said.

He continues with the basic package of 196 euros (gas + electricity): “It was necessary for those who do not benefit from the social tariff, who are just above and who have insufficiently indexed income in relation to the increase in energy costs which weigh more in the budget.” Pierre-Yves Dermagne recognizes, however, that he had pleaded for something more targeted and limited, but some, within Vivaldi, wanted uniform aid for everyone.

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