Despite repeated announcements by the Michel government, the Special Taxation Inspectorate (known as “the ISI”) has not been strengthened by the arrival of 100 civil servants. This appears today (Thursday) in De Tijd.
Last year, the number of ISI civil servants even decreased slightly, going from 664 in 2015 to 649 in 2016.
With the announcement of this increase in numbers, the government was expecting to emphasise its wish to fight against fraud.
However, the figures tell another story.
The promised increase in staff only happened between 2014 and 2015, with an increase from 608 to 664 employees.
However owing to the decrease last year, there are only 35 additional agents compared to 2013.
When questioned about this, the Minister of Finances Johan Van Overtveldt said that the service’s explanation is that it was never a question of “adding” 100 ISI agents. It was rather an issue of countering natural wastage within the service.
However, the Flemish daily publication emphasises that the general policy note and the minister’s communiqués literally mentioned “additional numbers” and “growth of 25%.”
The spokesman for the FPS Finance, Francis Adyns, says, “Without these new recruits, we would be back down to 550 officers.”