More cash for defence, justice, security, jobs and SMEs

The Belgian government has concluded its spending review. Both the justice and security departments will receive extra cash. The government's also releasing cash so that Belgium can meet its international defence commitments.

It was after a weekend of high-level talks and in the early hours of Monday morning that the Prime Minister Charles Michel was able to announce a deal. Justice and security departments receive an extra 102 million euros, partly to deal with unpaid bills from the past.

The government is taking action to allow the wheels of its administration to run more smoothly: here too old bills will be paid more promptly. Employment, small and medium-sized businesses and the hospitality sector are getting an extra boost. Efforts to clamp down on tax and social fraud will be increased. The government's also releasing cash so that Belgium can meet its international defence commitments.

The government went in search and found over an extra 600 million euros during the spending review despite reports of greater growth and a recommendation from the government's financial watchdog that only requires the budget to be balanced by 2018. In this way the government has created a buffer of 100 million euros that will be able to absorb bad news.

The extra 600 million means that Belgium will be able to meet its European commitments too.

Where’s the extra cash coming from?

Measures to tackle social and tax fraud should raise some cash, but the 'Cayman tax' on companies that avoid tax by taking their earnings to tax havens will be introduced sooner rather than later.

Savings have been made too but no big cuts have been made in the social security budget.