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    2018 Belgian budget set to be the best in more than a decade

    The 2018 Belgian Budget will be the best in more than 10 years, owing to a significant increase in early payments made, L’Echo and De Tijd are reporting on Wednesday. However, this success is of a temporary nature.

    The overall balance sheet for 2018 will be better than expected. Last month, the National Bank of Belgium had believed that the government would end the year with a GDP deficit of 0.8% – some €3.6 billion. However the third quarter figures, in particular, enable the conclusion that the result will in the end be better, and that 2018 will be the best budgetary exercise for the Belgian treasury since 2007, when the country had a slight surplus of 0.2%. 

    The Michel government took the decision to temporarily boost tax revenues by increasing fines on companies and the self-employed who were not paying enough, or indeed any early payments to the FPS Finances. Thus in 2017, early payments increased by nearly €3 billion, reaching €13.2 billion. In 2018, several billion euros in additional funds came into the budget, in view of fines once again being increased.

    However, the success is only temporary in this regard as from this year the level of corporation tax income is likely to decrease significantly, with companies not paying the level of tax which they paid last year.

    Lars Andersen
    The Brussels Times