Sunday, 08 January 2017
A new law has been drawn up by the federal government to limit salary increases over the next few years. It will mean the average employee will lose 753 euros for the 2017-2018 period, the PTB claimed on Sunday. That’s an average of 400 euros a year. They have based their claim on a simulation done by the one of their research teams. Ministers agreed to the project on the 16th of December, and it will be on the Social Affairs Commission’s agenda on the 10th of January.
The government is fine-tuning adjustments to the 1996 salary law. Via a “salary norm”, salary increases in Belgium will now be the same as salary changes in neighbouring countries. The aim is to decrease the salary gap between Belgium and its neighbours.
The PTB says this has already been done, and the most recent National Bank report says “the handicap of salary costs had disappeared in 2016”.
“The government still thinks more needs to be done and has changed the salary law. Instead of the 2.4% salary margin under the old law, salaries can only go up by 1.2% for the 2017–2018 period under the new law. That is really very little”, says PTB President Peter Mertens. He talked about “salary dumping” and added that last year Belgian workers lost 0.9% of their net buying power. That’s the biggest drop in the European Union.
The PTB says that under the new law, an employee that earns 2,976 euros a month gross will lose 753 euros in salary increases in 2017-2018.