The debate on the general policy statement was still going on Thursday at 7:00 a.m. Each political group was able to speak and Prime Minister Alexander De Croo formulated his response at around 2 a.m. “A budget and a policy that will strengthen our country“, he said.
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Confidence vote at 3 p.m.
Thematic debates on the competences of each minister then began. At 07:00 am, the discussions focused on Defense, the competence of Socialist Minister Ludivine Dedonder. The reform of the labor market, the return to work of long-term patients, energy prices and the nuclear phase-out dominated discussions which began on Wednesday at 10 a.m.
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The vote of confidence is expected from 3:00 p.m.
Report of this Tuesday, October 12:
Lack of pension reform
“If there is no agreement between the social partners (on the labor market reform announced by the government), the file will come back to the government, as we did for the inter-professional agreement (AIP)“, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (Open Vld) indicated on the night from Wednesday to Thursday. During the debate on the general policy statement, the Prime Minister was questioned on the way in which social dialogue was going to operate.”‘We want to do it in a concerted way. But if there is no agreement, we will carry out the intention. And the intention is, for example, to work more one week and less the following week …”
You can’t put people in front of a fait accompli
The Prime Minister also justified the absence of the pension reform announced in September by Minister Karine Lalieux in the 2022 budget. “People apply for their pension a year in advance. We cannot therefore carry out a pension reform that will have an impact on the 2022 budget, that is the technical argument. The political argument is that you can’t put people in front of a fait accompli“. Alexander De Croo added that the reform would enter into force within 2, 3 or 4 years.”We have agreed with Madame Lalieux to separate this discussion from the budget discussion. We will have this discussion in the coming months.“
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Critical challenge …
“You are a man abused by your partners, and I say this with some empathy“, quipped François De Smet to the address of Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (Open Vld). In his speech during the debate on the general policy statement, the president of DéFI judged that the budget included”good ideas, but without real breath“denouncing”perpetual negotiations“within the majority. According to him,”what is interesting is not what you say, but what you don’t say“, he declared, in particular with reference to the pension reform, not included in the 2022 budget.
You are a man abused by your partners
“Nothing is likely to happen on pensions. Will the minister (Karine Lalieux – PS, editor’s note) table a general policy note from 2022?“, he asked himself.”The name of Vivaldi can not be attached to any reform, to any major project. There are always people forgotten: women who have to have an abortion in the Netherlands, the middle classes, migrants. It is difficult to understand where you are going. There is no real course. You are managers, whereas we need visionaries.“
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… just like the cdH
“A bit of everything and a lot of blur“in the 2022 budget, ruled the head of the CDH group Catherine Fonck. The Chamber continued in the night of Wednesday to Thursday the debate on the declaration of general policy, while the vote of confidence is expected Thursday afternoon.
For humanists, “we haven’t made much progress, it’s almost back to square one.” “We have seen great promises and great announcements of a better tomorrow: on the energy bill, two trains per hour, free trains for all, support for caregivers, etc. The majority parties made believe that anything was possible. ‘The sky is the limit’. And many citizens believed it. So many illusions followed by disillusions … The gap between promises, announcements, outbidding and actions is immense. And this contributes to fueling the escalation of extremist parties“, launched Catherine Fonck.”You are much more clear on the expenses than on how you are going to finance them“, she added.
A bit of everything and a lot of blur
Catherine Fonck notably pointed to the government’s announcement to make investments to the tune of one billion by 2024. “To reach 3.5% of GDP in investments in 2024, 1.5 billion per year by 2024, alongside the stimulus plan was announced. There is a decline to one billion euros over 3 years. It’s too bad. Once you announce something, you can’t change the frame.” “I hope the lines will move for the middle classes in the coming weeks“, she also said of the measures taken to limit the impact of the increase in energy prices on households