Federal Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten will present a draft bill to tax the excess profits of energy companies before the summer holidays, she announced on Thursday. She did not, however, give away many details of the draft law.
Energy companies have been reaping the benefits of the ongoing energy crisis with record profits, while the burden of inflation has hit the wallet of Belgian citizens who have had to pay record gas and electricity bills in recent months.
In response, the Federal Government has introduced a number of measures to alleviate the burden on citizens by lowering VAT and releasing energy subsidies for households. But faced with multiple social crises, Belgium is now seeking to replenish the state coffers.
Higher taxation on various sectors
"We are ready," the minister said in response to a question from Leen Dierick (CD&V). Asked by "Villa Politica,” a programme by VRT, she said that not only Engie, the operator of nuclear power plants, would be targeted but also "gas plants, offshore wind turbines and the oil sector".
The National Bank submitted a report to the government on Wednesday in which it advocates a permanent system for taxing these excess profits, particularly as a way of tackling the ongoing cost of living crisis.
- Lower VAT, more austerity? Belgian ministers to discuss solutions to cost of living crisis
- Why are unions organising another national strike?
Discussions are underway with Engie on the extension of two nuclear reactors beyond 2025. The ambition remains to reach an agreement before the political holidays. "The government does not want to drag its feet, but there are two parties around the table," the Minister said.