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Open VLD: No capital gains tax under this government

Egbert Lachaert, president of Open VLD. © Belga

The government of Alexander De Croo (Open VLD) will not accept the introduction of a capital gains tax, party president Egbert Lachaert has promised.

Speaking on VRT Radio 1 this morning, Lachaert set out to put down speculation that the government might consider introducing a capital gains tax on the profit made by the sale of shares or property.

At the formation of the government, that was a breaking point for Open VLD, he said. “We would not join a government if there were such a tax.”

What was agreed, and introduced into the new government’s mission statement, was a securities tax referred to as a ‘solidarity contribution,’ a levy of 0.15% a year on all share portfolios with a total value of more than one million euros.

According to the initial estimates by the government, that would raise about €420 million a year, which would go to health care spending.

The coalition agreement states that a fair contribution will be made by those people who have the greatest capacity. That is the securities tax. There will be no more than that.”

Other estimates have suggested that a capital gains tax could bring in as much as four billion euros – money that would be welcome as the pandemic drains the resources of the exchequer.

On that point we, as liberals, said We’re not having that. If you want to have billions in returns, it will not come from those with the broadest shoulders, but from the middle class. Then you are imposing a tax on the middle class, and we absolutely won’t accept that.”

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times