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    Right-wing leader proposes lowering VAT on electricity

    © Belga

    Flemish formateur Bart De Wever has come out in favour of having the Government of Flanders lobby the Federal Government to reduce the value-added tax on electricity.

    The Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (N-VA) leader expressed his support for such a move in a note sent to prospective partners, according to reports in Thursday’s issue of the Het Laatste Nieuws and De Morgen dailies.

    Under the impulsion of the N-VA, the previous federal government, headed by Charles Michel, had raised VAT on electricity to 21%, up from the 6% that had been set by the Di Rupo administration.

    The formateur’s new stand on VAT is being seen as an attempt to woo the Socialistische Partij Anders (sp.a). Sp.a leader John Crombez has invoked the VAT rate as a reason for not participating in the government that the N-VA has been trying to form since the May elections.

    De Wever’s note was only sent to the sp.a, Christen-Democratish en Vlaams (CD&V) and Open Vld parties  after weeks-long discussions between the N-VA leader and Vlaams Belang.

    VAT is not the only indication of an apparent effort to woo the Flemish socialists. The note also mentions eliminating waiting lists for health services, and a freeze on prices in retirement homes.

    Oscar Schneider

    The Brussels Times