Same level of child benefit for every child

Child benefit is one of the areas of policy that has been transferred from the federal state to the language communities as part of the state reforms passed in the last parliament. This means that Flanders is now responsible for setting the level of child benefit payable in the 308 municipalities that make up the Flemish Region.

In Brussels responsibility for child benefit falls to the Communal Community Commission of the Brussels-Capital Region.

Under the proposals set out in the Flemish coalition agreement the level of child benefit will be the same for every child. Currently this is not the case with a sum of 90.28 euro/month payable for the first child, 167.05 euro/month payable for the second child and 249.41 euro/month payable from the third child born into a family.

In addition a supplement is ranging from 15.73 euro/month for the oldest child in a family that is younger than 11 to 60.93 euro/month for a second, third, fourth...child that is over 18, but still dependent on his/her parent.

Although a precise figure has still to be set, the new level of Child benefit is likely to be between 150 and 160 euro per child/month. The famlies' association Gezinsbond says that the proposals will mean that around 150,000 larger families in Flanders will lose out once the new measures come into force.

Despite so-called "social corrections", Gezinsbond says that all Flemish families with more than 3 children will have to make do with less child benefit. The organisation proposes a transitional period whereby larges families won't suddenly start receiving less family allowance.