Brussels government presents budget agreement with focus on high energy prices
The Brussels government presented its budget for 2023 at the office of Brussels prime minister Rudi Vervoort on Wednesday. Much of the focus lies on coping with high energy prices for both the population and economic sectors. In addition, the budget should be the final step towards a balanced budget in 2024.
The Brussels government's 2023 budget amounts to almost €7 billion, with a deficit of €400 million. In the planned multi-annual budget, a return to structural balance in 2024 is to be achieved. Next year's budget should be the final step in this process. On the revenue side, there is a growth of over 200 million euros due to the rising federal endowment and increased revenues in terms of personal income tax. The government is also making a savings effort of €150 million within the reorganisation of its administration. Like federal ministers, ministerial allowances in Brussels will fall by 8 percent from 2023.
As the budget deficit indicates, investments are not yet balanced. Brussels Budget minister Sven Gatz clarified that they cannot simply be stopped. In particular, increased energy costs require additional efforts.
In order to absorb the additional energy costs of citizens, companies, organisations, municipalities and the Public Centre for Social Welfare, a provision of 200 million euros is being made available. The federal level focuses more on financial support for households, while the Brussels government focuses more on businesses and the non-profit sector.
The regional institutions, especially the public transport company STIB-MIVB, are also seeing costs rise. 100 million euros will be allocated for this purpose. "This government is committed to paying the additional cost of energy prices. This is how we ensure that all vehicles continue to run and the supply continues to expand ," said Brussels Mobility minister Elke Van den Brand.
The press conference of the Brussels Capital Region government regarding the 2023 budget. - © BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK