Workers' party aims to be 'real left-wing alternative'

Workers’ party PVDA is positioning itself as the “backbone of the left” in Belgian politics as its leader called for a millionaires’ tax during a demonstration on Monday.

“Belgium is a tax haven for the ultra-rich and the multinationals,” party leader Raoul Hedebouw said at the May Day assembly at Place Anneessens in Brussels. “A small club of the super-rich is getting richer and richer, while those who create wealth, the workers, are having a hard time making ends meet.”

The party has tabled a bill in parliament that would see a tax of 1 per cent on fortunes above 1 million euros, 2 per cent above 2 million and 3 per cent above 3 million. The measure would raise an estimated 8 billion euros for public services.

"Those who want left-wing policy should turn to the left-wing parties"

The PVDA is now the backbone of the left in Belgium, Hedebouw said. “Those who want left-wing policy should turn to the left-wing parties. We are here to build a real left-wing alternative, in the north as well as the south of the country.”

A representative of the CNE trade union also spoke at the Labour Day demonstration and criticised the “uberisation” of supermarket chain Delhaize. A handful of branches remain closed amid ongoing social unrest as a result of the company’s plans to franchise all its stores. “Today is the end of eight weeks of strikes,” she said. “Tomorrow the ninth begins, and we will not give up.”


PVDA members demonstrate in Brussesl on International Workers' Day © BELGA PHOTO HATIM KAGHAT

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