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    Tax payers bear brunt of “tax-shift”

    ©Belga
    ©Belga

    Over 50% of the “tax shift” announced by the Michel government on July 23rd will be financed by austerity measures (31%) and an increase in excise duty and VAT on electricity (22%), according to calculations by the CNE (Centrale Nationale des Employés affiliés à la CSC). Capital will make up 9%, according to the union which compared the planned measures with the sources of financing.

    The CNE first points out that the tax shift is “not a re-vamped 7-billion plan”. The Di Rupo and Michel governments had already announced various measures, such as the competitiveness pact and the ‘well-being envelope’, highlights the union. This means that the new tax-shift measures represent 51% of the government’s recent plan.

    The CNE goes on to analyse who will benefit from the tax shift. If the plan is considered as a whole, it will benefit employed or unemployed workers (58.9%) and businesses (41%). If previously-announced measures and the ‘well-being envelope’ are put to one side, the union calculates that 46% of the sum will go to citizens and 54% to businesses.

    Finally, the CNE picks through how the tax-shift will be financed. 22% will be financed by savings made on welfare and 9% from a decrease in state spending. Almost a third (31%) therefore, comes from austerity measures, points out the CNE. With 22% coming from increases in excise duty and VAT on electricity, the result is that 53% will “come out of Belgian citizens’ pockets”.

    Moreover, capital will directly contribute a paltry 9%, complains the CNE, “welfare and the state contributing 3 times as much as capital.

    Oscar Schneider (Source: Belga)