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    Ecolo proposes allowance for all 18 to 26 year-olds

    © Belga
    © Belga

    The Ecolo party is proposing a basic allowance of 460 to 600 euros per month for all persons aged 18 to 26 years, federal parliamentarian Gilles Vanden Burre announced on Monday in La Libre newspaper. The proposal is included in the party’s campaign for the 26 May elections.

    The allowance, one of four “job quality” proposals launched by the ecologists, would not replace pre-existing social assistance, but would eliminate dependents’ allowances for young people over the age of 18, and the tax credit for dependent children. The measure would cost an estimated 3.2 billion euros to 4.8 billion euros per year, according to a study done by the party.

    Ecolo said it targeted this age group “because young people often fall between the cracks, with neither work, nor internships nor studies,” Vanden Burre explained. “In the Brussels Region, 18-26-year-olds are an estimated 20% of the population. Then, when you are young, you are tempted to test things. Sometimes it doesn’t work and you begin anew. The base allowance has to make it easier for young people to join the labour market. There is also a very strong social dimension that seeks to prevent people from being left high and dry, without an income.”

    The three other proposals relate to: guaranteeing an individual right to training (five days per year); granting access to unemployment benefits after a resignation; and setting up a tandem plan, i.e. the possibility for people over the age of 55 to work part time by carrying out tutoring missions in their company.

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times