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    Shift to riskier investments in Belgium

    © Belga
    © Belga

    The federal government has reoriented savings in Belgium towards riskier investments. La Libre refers on Thursday to a report by the Belgian Count of Accounts which specifies the budgetary impact of the measures.

    At the end of July 2017, the Michel government put in place several measures to promote investments in riskier assets to stimulate the economy.

    The main measure concerned Belgian savings accounts which in total amount to more than € 260 billion. The government decided to halve the tax benefit previously granted to regulated deposit accounts.

    Since 2018, only interest of up € 940 (against € 1.880 previously) is exempted from taxation. At the time, the impact was negligible for both savers and the state budget, given the low interest rates applied.

    Today, interest rates are rising and the impact could change, writes La Libre. According to the Court of Accounts, which refers to an impact study by the National Bank, the budget revenue of the measure could reach € 197 million in 2020-2021.

    While reducing the tax advantage of savings accounts, the government introduced another measure: the exemption from withholding tax on dividends of shares up to € 800. This mechanism has a completely different budgetary impact, according to the Court of Accounts, and would cost the state some € 242 million.

    The Brussels Times