Belgium’s government asked to change company car system
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    Belgium’s government asked to change company car system

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    The Flemish government has asked the Federal level to change the company car system as part of its new air quality plan. 

    The new bill adopted on Friday does not include the kilometre tax that was due to be introduced under previous legislature. 

    The previous Flemish government had prepared an air quality plan, but wasn’t able to get it approved before the elections. 

    At the end of last year, Greenpeace went to court to force the Flemish government to adopt a plan within a year. In case they would fail, they would face penalties. 

    Air quality plan

    The new Flemish government adopted the air quality plan on Friday, which was one of its first political moves. Ministers from the N-VA, Open Vld and CD&V all backed the plan.

    The Flemish government is asking for the federal rules on company cars to be changed and it wants the system to take the environmental characteristics of the cars into account.  

    The new plan aims to reduce the health impact of low air quality by half between now and 2030 (compared to 2005 data). 

    Flanders is trying to make Belgium’s car fleet greener to achieve that. The air quality plan states that while regional authorities do not have the power to ban the sale of diesel cars, they can encourage alternatives through tax rebates.

    The main difference between the new plan and the previous one is that the current one doesn’t include a kilometre tax. 

    But the Flemish government has just announced they will be phasing out bonuses for electric cars from the 1st of January. “Having use of a company car and having fuel costs reimbursed means more kilometres,” the plan says.

    Flanders will also create a legal basis for “ultra-low emission zones” (ULEZ) that towns and cities can introduce to remove vehicles with combustion engine from town centres. 

    Sarah Johansson
    The Brussels Times