"59,000 new jobs by 2019"

Belgian Economy Minister Kris Peeters says that decoupling the index for a go, government efforts to boost spending power and cuts in social contributions could result in 59,000 new jobs by 2019.

Mr Peeters bases his assumption on a report from Belgium's central bank. Nationale Bank believes that decoupling the index for one go, which means some private and all public sector wages as well as benefits will not be increased by 2% when inflation rises 2% - could create 33,300 new jobs. Lowering employers' social contribution adds a further 19,000 jobs to the total. Other government measures make up the rest.

Mr Peeters underlines that this is a macro-economic model and that talks with unions and employers are essential in order to create real jobs. Government measures are set to boost Belgium's GDP by 1%. Mr Peeters believes exports could rise by 0.8% as a result of the same measures. He stresses that these effects will only be achieved if business reinvests the money that is being freed up.

The 59,000 jobs could come in addition to the 160,000 new jobs already envisaged by the Planning Office.