Core cabinet is not making any decisions yet: discussion about high energy bills will continue next week

Prime Minister De Croo held off on Thursday in De Kamer for a reduction in VAT on energy bills © rr

Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten (Green) has been tasked by the core cabinet to map out and technically analyze the various options for reducing energy bills. This will be done in consultation with her colleague from Finance Vincent Van Peteghem (CD&V). This was learned on Friday from the cabinet of Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and the Green Minister. The file will be back on the table next week.

jvhSource: BELGIAN

Today at 17:31

The top ministers of the Vivaldi government met for several hours on Friday to discuss how to tackle the increased prices for gas and electricity. In recent days it appeared that the various parties put forward their own ideas about this. This concerns, for example, a reduction in VAT, but also an energy discount, an extension of the social rate, and so on.

The prime minister emphasized on Thursday that measures must be temporary, targeted and sustainable for public finances. As a reminder: in October, together with the budget preparation, the government already knocked off a series of decisions aimed at reducing energy bills. But the price rises do not appear to have come to a halt.

“Even for middle-class families who have a variable contract or saw their energy supplier go bankrupt, the energy bill is becoming increasingly difficult to pay and measures are necessary. Anyone who changes contract today pays up to hundreds of euros per month more. This situation is untenable. Action must be taken,” says Minister Van der Straeten.

No buttons cut yet

The government summit did not make any concrete decisions on Friday. However, Minister Van der Straeten was instructed to quantify and objectify the various routes and to present them again to the core. To do this, she must consult with Minister Van Peteghem, who argued for a VAT reduction earlier this week.

According to the Van der Straeten cabinet, both the financial benefit for families and companies and the financial impact for the government are considered. No one should enrich themselves from the crisis, it says. For this reason, the surplus profits of energy producers and the additional income from VAT are also mapped out. The management of the advance invoices also falls within the scope.

The prime minister reached out to the states on Thursday. For example, they can take measures to encourage the insulation of homes. At Van der Straeten, too, they point to the role that the regions can play. “In the medium term, the vaccine at high prices is more renewable energy and more energy saving. The faster we bring more renewable energy, the better protected we are against future price increases. And the energy you don’t use is still the cheapest. These are measures with a lasting effect and where regional governments must also take responsibility,” it reads.

Leave a Reply