Belgium's 2024 budget: more flexi jobs and a higher minimum salary
After a sleepless night and countless hours of negotiations, the government has agreed on next year's budget. The last stumbling block was the discussion on flexi jobs. This system will be extended from 10 to 22 sectors and accompanied by higher social protection.
Flexi jobs allow pensioners or people who work at least four-fifths of the time to earn additional tax-free income in specific sectors. Flemish liberals Open VLD wanted to extend this system considerably, preferably to all industries. Walloon socialists PS see the system as an attack on social security because they only require an employer's contribution.
Flexi jobs in more sectors
On Monday evening, PS and Open VLD finally agreed on the principles of an extension. The system will be extended to 12 more sectors, including education, childcare, the car and removal industries and the food sector. In addition, those who earn a lot from their flexible jobs would be taxed. The exact threshold has yet to be determined. The employer's contribution will also be increased.
There was already broad agreement on the rest of the budget, including an increase in the minimum wage. Those earning less than 2,200 euros per month gross will receive at least 35 euros a month extra. Someone on the absolute minimum salary can count on 50 euros a month. Up to a gross monthly wage of 2,700 euros, 12 euros will be added.
In addition, a higher bank tax will raise 150 million euros, and smokers and vapers will pay more excise duty, which is expected to raise another 50 million euros. The cost of number plates will rise, and professional diesel for the transport sector will become more expensive. The money raised from the extra taxes and savings will be used for asylum policy, the police and sexual violence support centres, among other things.
Finally, private individuals who demolish and rebuild a building will still benefit from a 6 per cent VAT rate next year. The total budget is 1.7 billion euros, with 500 million euros earmarked for various issues.
© BELGA PHOTO JONAS ROOSENS