The Council of State has given the Walloon government its opinion, as requested by the latter, relating to the draft decree on future regional family allowances. Le Soir, reporting this on Wednesday, says that the document (of around 50 pages) is scathing about an essential issue. This is the difference between the treatment of children born both before and on or after January 1st, 2019, the date anticipated for the entry into force of the new provisions.
The Council of State says that the reasons for this difference in treatment must be ‘substantially’ reviewed. Le Soir observes that alternatively the opinion can be viewed as a thorn in the side of the MR-cdH Walloon government. The initiative was initially started by the PS-cdH alliance and resumed by the current MR-cdH coalition. Under the policy, the total for basic allowances would be €155 per month per child (increasing to €165 if the child is between 18 and 24), whether for the first-born or any other child of the given generation.
There is one exception anticipated: children born before January 1st, 2019, will remain linked to the “former regime”, until they lose their rights to receive such allowances. That is to say that first-born born before 2019 will only continue to “receive” in the region of €95 per month. A single regime linking children born before and after 2019 would indeed put heavy strains upon the cost of the system. The Council of State is dismissive in respect of this initiative. This is specifically because, it maintains, “The aspects of this policy motivated by budgetary arguments alone do not suffice to justify the distinctions proposed.”