This week, the federal budget was closed. Logically, several criticisms fell on the parties in power. According to the opposition, the Vivaldi would have let down the middle classes. A criticism swept aside with the back of the hand by Sophie Wilmès, Deputy Prime Minister MR. “With the rise in energy prices, we wanted to help low wages with the social tariff. But not only”, she begins. “A tax exemption up to average salaries will also be put in place. It will be an increase from 50 to 100 euros. It will not be a one-off but structural aid.”
The opposition also compared Belgium to Greece, rightly or wrongly? “This comparison is not fair because the situations are not the same”, estimates the Minister of Foreign Affairs. “On the other hand, it is true that we are in a situation which is not simple. And that we must take it head on. Knowing the facts, I am still surprised at certain ideas of parties that wanted giving money to everyone, like wanting free trains, as Paul Magnette had proposed, this kind of proposition is a good idea, but it is not financially possible.
These turbulent budget negotiations will they leave traces? “It’s always difficult to get a budget deal. We must see the success of this package and continue to build confidence“, confides the liberal, aware that other big files await Vivaldi.
“At the MR, this is a problem”
During this interview, it will have mainly been a question of the unemployed. Tensions were high between the MR and the PS over the long-term unemployed. “There is no penalty for the unemployed. In MR this is a problem“, admits Sophie Wilmès.
At issue: job seekers who would show evidence of not wanting to return to work. With 300,000 unemployed for 150,000 jobs in short supply, the situation is problematic. “According to the MR, there has to be a match between the two. But it is not done in ‘one two three’. It takes training and other things to match the supply and demand of employment. did not only propose sanctions for the unemployed who twice refused a suitable job in a trade in shortage. unemployment with the new income. There must be a balance between the incentives and the fact of responding favorably. Solidarity is certainly rights. But it is also a duty in relation to society. “
A proposal refused by the PS. “We do not want to stigmatize job seekers. Never. Because we know that the majority of job seekers are in a constructive approach. But it is true that like everywhere, people do not play the game. And those, they must be sanctioned.“
“De Croo has managed to do something that is not easy”
After this budget is accepted in the House, the various measures will have to be put in place. For Sophie Wilmes, “this is an ambitious, but realistic package“. Finally, she does not hesitate to congratulate Alexander De Croo for having managed to complete this budget on time.”He managed to collect all the ideas to accomplish a budget, which is not easy“, concludes Sophie Wilmès.