Labour Minister Kris Peeters denied on Thursday the existence of any figures on the available wage cushion for inter-professional negotiations but noted that the 1996 law on competitivity did not allow for a negative cushion. The General Federation of Belgian Labour, FGTB, had expressed concern on Wednesday about first figures from the Central Economic Council, which indicated the absence of a wage cushion, with council president Robert Vertenueil even mentioning a negative cushion of -0.2%.
Minister Peeters said he regretted references to figures that misinform the public. In answer to questions from Frédéric Dearden (PS) and Myriam Kitir (sp.a), he denied the existence of temporary figures, explaining that the Central Economic Council had not yet completed its calculations.
The Council’s report is not expected before mid-January, he said.