Just over half of all Belgians feel purchasing power went down in the past year, according to a poll by Ipsos, Le Soir and RTL, released on Tuesday. Only one in 10 felt an increase in their purchasing power.
There were significant differences between the north and south of the country. In Wallonia, close to 70% of respondents felt their buying power had dropped, as against just under half in the north of the country.
Responses also diverged along political lines. Supporters of leftist parties such as the Socialists (PS) and Labour (PTB) felt more strongly – 74% and 79% respectively – that their buying power had shrunk. So did supporters of the Democratic Federalist Independent (Défi) party (73%) and, to a lesser extent, those of the Humanist Democratic Centre and Ecolo-Green parties.
On the other hand, only 44% of respondents close to the Reformist Movement (MR) felt that their pockets had become slimmer over the past year.