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There will be hardly any room for wage increases in the next wage norm negotiations, where employers and unions agree on how much private sector wages can rise on top of indexation. The Planning Bureau said this on Friday when it presented a new economic outlook.

jvhSource: BELGA

The Planning Bureau sees only room for a 0.1 percent wage increase for 2023 and 2024, the period over which the next negotiations on an interprofessional agreement will normally take place.

“Due to the high inflation in 2022 and 2023 and the faster adjustment of wages to inflation compared to wages abroad as a result of automatic indexation in Belgium, there will de facto be hardly any room in the years 2023-2024 for negotiated real gross wage increases”, that is how it sounds in the publication of the Planning Bureau.

From 2025, there would be more room for wage increases on top of the index. For the period 2025-2027, for example, the Planning Bureau expects a margin of 0.8 percent per year on average. As a reminder: The IPA 2021-2022 provided for a maximum wage increase of 0.4 percent, regardless of indexation.

Just Monday, the three trade unions ACV, ACLVB and ABVV will hold a national trade union manifestation in Brussels for more purchasing power and against what they consider to be too strict wage standard law. They want that law amended before the next IPA negotiations start at the end of this year.

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