Walloon MPs demand talks with Brussels government over toll plan

Walloon MPs demand talks with Brussels government over toll plan
Credit: Belga

Members of the Walloon Parliament want to start talks with the Brussels government before a city toll is launched in the capital.

By 2022, Brussels wants to make all roads in the capital region subject to a fixed toll per car, supplemented by an additional charge per kilometre, according to documents from the Brussels administration that were sent to the government.

Walloon MPs voted a resolution on Monday to urge such talks, a matter which they will bring to the Consultative Committee, which is meant to settle conflicts between the regions, if necessary.

In fact, Brussels faces opposition from both Wallonia and Flanders over the toll, with both parliaments being nearly unanimously against it.

The implementation of such a measure, if taken unilaterally, would be “doomed to fail,” said Walloon Minister for Economy Willy Borsus, who called Brussels’ plan “a unilateral demarche that passes the bill on to commuters, SMEs and the self-employed in other regions.”

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Workers commuting into Brussels from Wallonia and Flanders would have to pay twice to use their cars in the city, according to the current plan, as registration and road taxes are regional matters. They would ow tax both where they live and in Brussels as they enter the city.

Walloon MPs warned the regional mobility minister, Philippe Henry, of a “fourfold penalty for commuters - Walloons and Flemish alike - since they would pay once for entering Brussels; a second time for each kilometre travelled; a third time via the regional commuters dotation included in the special financing law; and, of course, a last time via the payment of the circulation tax, which will continue to apply in Wallonia but not in Brussels.”

A final decision on the Brussels toll has yet to be taken.

Jason Spinks

The Brussels Times

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