The Federation of Enterprises of Belgium (FEB) has welcomed a decision by the Federal Government to introduce a mobility budget in addition to its “cash for cars” initiative. “I hope the mobility budget will redirect attention to the mobility issue”, FEB head Pieter Timmermans commented. “The economic cost of our daily traffic jams – 2% of Gross Domestic Product or about 8 billion euro – is indeed huge.”
“The idea of a mobility budget has already made progress”, the FEB pointed out. At the conclusion of the 2017-2018 Interprofessional Agreement, the social partners agreed to study, in the short term, how to draw up a mobility budget. Their discussions resulted in a joint opinion of the CNT in April 2017.
“Their objective was to favour a more sustainable mobility and facilitate combinations of different modes of transport, at no additional cost to employers, no wage loss for employees and without any negative impact on the social security budget. For its part, the FEB has been requesting it for a long time and has integrated the concept in its mobility vision launched two years ago in March 2016.”
“A step forward has finally been made, according to Timmermans, adding that the “initial political idea of cars-for-cash and the proposal by the social partners can co-exist.”
It is up to the businesses to choose the system they want to introduce. It’s a first “concrete” step towards solving the Belgian system of congestion. After the wage costs issue, mobility is priority number one for our country’s employers”, Timmerman added.
The FEB plans to brief employers on the concrete modalities of the mobility budget at an information session. “This will be necessary, since the details and precise conditions are not yet known”, it said.