Home Economy Federal budget deficit higher than expected due to ‘material error’

Federal budget deficit higher than expected due to ‘material error’

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The federal government is correcting the estimated deficit for the year 2023, confirms the office of Secretary of State Eva De Bleeker (Open Vld) on Wednesday. This change is made following a meeting with Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, wrote De Tijd on Tuesday evening.

The 2023 federal budget deficit will be larger than expectedaccording to figures released Monday by the N-VA (opposition) and confirmed to the office of the Secretary of State.

At the beginning of October, when the federal government agreed on the budget for the years 2023 and 2024, there was still talk of a structural deficit of 2.9% gross domestic product (GDP) for next year and 3.2% the following year.

The most recent projections point to 3.4% in 2023according to N-VA MP Sander Loones, who relied on the final budget documents.

At the De Bleeker firm, we confirmed this increase, attributed in particular to the government’s decision at the end of October to extend the reduced VAT on energy and to reform excise duties.

According to De Tijd and L’Echo, thehe budget deficit of all Belgian public authorities widens to 6.1% of GDP (35 billion euros). In the draft budget plan that Belgium submitted to the European Commission in mid-October, it was still about 5.8% (33.3 billion), i.e. a difference of 1.7 billion euros.

This is a “hardware error that has been found and is being fixed”, the Secretary of State said on Wednesday. According to her spokesperson, Eva De Bleeker opted for a cautious approach, “but she may have been too cautious. »

Otherwise, the federal budget is now available online on the website of the FPS Strategy and Support (bosa.belgium.be), announces the Secretary of State.

Via infographics, it details, for example, the amount of different basic allowances available. It also allows you to see the budget devoted to official trips abroad by the royal family or its representatives (312,000 euros), or even the “salaries and entertainment expenses” of the Prime Minister (248,000 euros).

In a next phase, the intention is also to allow a comparison between the budget and the expenses actually incurred. Social security is not yet included in the system, but work is in progress, assures Mrs De Bleeker.

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