Fons Verplaetse (ex-governor), Luc Coene (ex-governor) and Norbert de Batselier (ex-director), who managed the Belgian National Bank, were interviewed by Knack on Wednesday. They said there should be a tax shift of at least 10 billion euros. Knack magazine brought the three former directors together to talk about the Belgian economy after the economic crisis. All three said the tax shift should be at least 10 billion euros.
“If it is such a high sum, the government should look at VAT, pollution tax and the rich”, explains Luc Coene. Fons Verplaetse agreed, while warning an increase in VAT would affect consumption. Norbert De Batselier thinks VAT on luxury products should increase.
Fons Verplaetse talked about stricter checks on salary subsidies. “Last year, businesses received 12.1 billion euros in subsidies. Half of that was salary subsidies, for example to pay night shifts. However, these are not included in salary costs, which are always published. In reality, salary costs are therefore lower than some businesses claim”.
The former governor thinks subsidies are roughly the same as the taxes businesses pay. “You don’t get this in any other country. The policy on subsidies has to be reviewed. It is high time all businesses paid proper taxes”, he said.