"Belgium has highest tax levels"

The OECD, the Organisation grouping the world's richest economies, has put Belgium at the top of a list of countries with the highest taxes.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development says that the gap between Belgium and other countries is widening too.

Belgium is used to being in the upper regions of this league and as far as taxes on labour are concerned already took the top position. Bert Brys, the OECD's senior tax economist, warns that other countries with high tax levels are now doing something about it. Germany and Hungary have lowered tax levels in recent years, while Belgium stood still.

The OECD calculated how much tax had to be paid on the average employee in the private sector and looked at how much returns to the Belgian state via employers' social contributions, employee contributions and income tax.

For singles with an average income and no kids tax levels in Belgium stood at 55.5% last year. Only 44.5% of an employee’s cost to an employer actually ends up with the employee.

Belgium features at the top of the tax burden league. Germany is second with 49.8%. In other categories Belgium performs badly too. Belgium used to feature relatively low down the list for families with two children on average income, but now we are in second position. The tax burden for a household with two wage earners and two children stood at 48.5% last year.