Flanders must use "inflation bonus" for companies and citizens, says Deputy Prime Minister
The Flemish government is examining how it can help citizens and companies to cope with the sky-high energy prices. In doing so, it must use "inflation bonus", said Deputy Prime Minister Bart Somers (Open VLD) in De Morgen on Friday. High inflation has a positive effect on the Flemish accounts, as income increased while not all expenses were indexed.
"Our budget is already on the way to balance, today there is a bonus on top of that because we are receiving more tax revenue than anticipated. We must use it for companies and citizens."
Government measures can be decided quickly. "Measures that are not bound to the budget can be decided in the coming hours and days, on others we may have to work another week." In any case, Somers emphasized, "the urgency is present in the minds of all colleagues in government".
"We are now looking for how we can best help to sustain the income of people and companies, and secondly how we can ensure that the transition to an energy neutral society happens as quickly as possible," Somers outlined.
According to the Open VLD member, the government should use its inflation bonus.
"We have no interest in moving to equilibrium even faster than planned. Flanders has a buffer. We must use that opportunity to support people and companies, without telling them that we can solve everything."
One measure that Somers mentioned is an extension and reinforcement of the job bonus. The Flemish employment bonus is a bonus that the Flemish public authorities pay to people who work in Flanders at relatively low wages.
© BELGA PHOTO (DIRK WAEM) Flemish Minister Bart Somers during a plenary session of the Flemish Parliament in Brussels