The Government finally obtained the confidence of the Chamber after a week of tension within the majority. The majority had been divided on budget perspectives. The motion comes with the majority against the opposition, five days after the planned deadline.
Michel’s team ended up agreeing Friday night on a 2016 budget playing with the 3% deficit mark, a debt rate above 100% of GDP, but with perspectives for 2017 which allow presenting to the European Commission an improvement in the structural balance of 1.2% of GDP in 2016 and 2017. This effort required some 3 billion euros in supplementary funds, aiming to reach a balanced budget in 2018.
The Government added to its version a new series of “substantial” structural reforms dealing particularly with the labour market.
By contrast, opponents sent back the company tax reform to a more rigorous examination, dealing also with the need for more equitable taxation policies, as well as making the economy more dynamic. In the heat of the tension, CD&V emerged Saturday with confirmation of a solution for the 800,000 cooperative members of the financial arm of the Christian labour movement affected by the collapse of Dexia.
Christopher Vincent (Source: Belga)