A clear and unequivocal ‘Yes’ from Belgians to taxing the wealthiest

A clear and unequivocal ‘Yes’ from Belgians to taxing the wealthiest
Credit: Belga

According to a recent survey carried out by the National Centre for Cooperation and Development (CNCD-11.11.11), a majority of Belgians are strongly in favour of taxing the wealthiest more to finance European plans for the benefit of society at large, Le Vif reports.

The CNCD-11.11.11, a Belgian NGO for international solidarity, found that 72% of respondents were supportive of taxing the wealthiest individuals to pay for schemes such as the EU’s Next Generation plan. Among those surveyed, Flemish were more in favour of such a measure than Walloons (75% and 69%, respectively). Over two-thirds of those surveyed also approved of the idea of a coronavirus tax on fortunes over €1 million – notably since wealth has become even more concentrated during the pandemic, with social inequalities widening.

To finance the EU’s Next Generation recovery plan, an investment of over €800 billion that aims to relaunch economies and fund the ecological transition, Belgians endorsed a minimum tax of 68% on business profits, a tax of 53% on kerosene and aeroplane tickets, 53% on plastic, and a tax of 52% on international financial interactions. By contrast, the taxation of digital services was less popular – just 41% – although this is a priority of the European Commission.

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To reach carbon neutrality by 2050, the majority of Belgians approve of the measures proposed in the Green Deal, even if the replacement of fossil-fuelled cars by electric vehicles was supported by only 39% of respondents. The disparity between opinions in Flanders and Wallonia was, again, clear: 44% of Flemish respondents supported this transition whereas just 39% of Walloons did.

As well as environmental questions, the barometer also surveyed Belgians on questions of migration. This proved even more divisive, with 27% claiming that they wouldn’t hesitate to send asylum seekers back to a country where their life or freedoms were under threat. One third were in favour of the regularisation of undocumented migrants and granting them work permits; 41% were opposed to this. Of those surveyed, almost half of those in Flanders were against regularisation whilst 42% of Walloons were in favour.

The survey was carried out among 1000 Belgians in collaboration with Le Vif and Knack.

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