With inflation showing no sign of cooling down, more than half (54%) of Brussels residents currently barely make enough money to get through the month.
In Flanders that percentage is 41% and in Wallonia it is 57% – almost 6 in 10 people – and the figure continues to rise, according to a poll by Het Laatste Nieuws.
The remarkable figures show that millions of people in Belgium worry about how they will make ends meet, particularly in the capital and south of the country. Half of Brussels and Wallonia inhabitants indicate that they are afraid of being unable to pay their energy bills; only 3 in 10 Flanders residents have the same concern.
Moreover, nearly a quarter (22%) of Brussels residents say they skip meals because they cannot afford them, compared to 16% in Wallonia and 11% in Flanders. A joint survey by RTL Info, Ipsos, and Le Soir, found that one in seven Belgians say they have skipped a meal within the last two weeks because of financial problems.
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The outlook is also more pessimistic in Brussels and Wallonia, as 41% and 44% in those respective regions expect their financial situation to get worse in the next six months. In Flanders, 37% are pessimistic about the future.
Brussels residents are looking for alternative solutions to cut their costs, intending to spend less on going out, activities and non-essential consumer items. A quarter chooses to spend less on activities now in order to be able to go on holiday this summer.
Meanwhile, this week’s national strike sees unions and employers calling for the employees protections in light of diminishing purchasing power.