Belgian authorities become world champions in spending
In 2025, all the Belgian authorities together will spend 56.9 per cent of GDP. No other country in the world has such a high "general government expenditure", according to the IMF's new World Economic Outlook.
For many years, more than half of GDP has passed via one of the many governments and authorities in Belgium. This year Belgium's 56.7 per cent is still lower than France's 58.1 per cent. In 2024, the two countries are at the same level: 56.7 per cent.
The French authorities will spend a smaller part of their GDP in the coming years, but in Belgium the percentage goes up, to 57.2 per cent in 2028.
Notwithstanding the higher expenditure, the public deficit will go down, from 3.8 per cent this year, to 3.0 per cent in 2028, expects the IMF. Public debt however will continue to increase, to 119.5 per cent of gdp.
All these numbers are under unchanged policy. Most Belgian politicians realise policy has to change, but with elections for all parliaments in 2024, this may not be easy.
© BELGA PHOTO TIJS VANDERSTAPPEN