The Flemish Union for the Self-employed (UNIZO) criticised, on Thursday, the fact that the administrative burden upon companies continues to grow, despite the federal government’s promise to reduce it by 30%. It bases these comments on a report by the Office of Planning and Budget.
UNIZO says, in HetNieuwsblad, “Theo Francken is fully committed to asylum and migration, but in doing so he has forgotten that it is also within his remit to reduce the administrative burden.”
In 2016, administrative expenditure amounted to €6.8 billion, which is €150 million more than two years previously. Danny Van Assche, CEO of UNIZO, says through gritted teeth, “If Francken was as much involved in our sphere as he is in asylum and migration, we would be much further down the road.”
Invited to give his reaction on De Ochtend (VRT), the Secretary of State explained that the increase can be attributed to the increase in the number of companies in Belgium.
“UNIZO is quite right in saying that the burden for larger companies is reducing quicker than for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). That is why we have launched an action plan for SMEs, which was approved by the High Council of Self-employed, SMEs and UNIZO.”
The Secretary of State does not deny that the government agreement anticipates a reduction in the administrative burden of 30%. Mr Francken adds, “We have already achieved several things in this domain, but a fair amount of work remains to be done.” He acknowledges without anyone having to spell it out “that the highly ambitious target of 30%”, in all likelihood, will not actually be achieved.