Flemish government tries to pick up the pieces after failed budget talks

The government of Flanders continues to work behind the scenes to reach an agreement on the budget and a compromise on the growth package. After Monday's debacle, little is leaking out about the talks happening on Tuesday. There have been technical consultations, telephone contacts and behind-the-scenes consultations, but the breach of trust seems difficult to repair in one day. 

Monday, the government of Flanders failed to reach an agreement on the budget and the accompanying package of energy and purchasing power measures. Minister-president Jan Jambon had to go to the Flemish Parliament without a September statement, a particularly painful moment for him and the entire government.

A new meeting with parliament is planned on Thursday. But the government still has to find a compromise on the growth package, a sort of child benefit. That dossier was the big stumbling block last weekend and Monday morning. 

Government party CD&V (Christian Democrats) not only wants to reverse the savings on the growth package - it was decided last year to limit indexation to 1 percent instead of 2 percent - but also wants to link it to the health index. That would mean that child benefits, like regular benefits, would rise alongside inflation. However, that scenario is too expensive, according to coalition members N-VA (Flemish Nationalists) and Open VLD (Liberal Party). Instead, they want to intervene by increasing social allowances and widening their target group. 

On the Flemish TV channel VTM, CD&V chairman Sammy Mahdi said that his party has "principles as well as a pragmatic attitude", and "there are moments in life when it is so fundamental that you have to draw a red line". That TV appearance has created bad blood between his party and both Open VLD and N-VA, according to reports. It remains to be seen whether the Flemish government can pick up the pieces. 

Tuesday was taken to allow the dust to settle and there was mainly a behind-the-scenes search for ways out of the impasse. It is possible that the ministers will not all return to the table until there is a real prospect of a breakthrough. Whether and when CD&V deputy prime minister Hilde Crevits can return to the table is also not yet clear. She became unwell last weekend and was subsequently replaced by ministers Jo Brouns and Benjamin Dalle. 

Jan Jambon is expected back in parliament for his September statement on Thursday at 2 pm at the latest. 




Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.

About belganewsagency.eu

Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels