Is Flemish government measure "extremely wicked"?

The Flemish Government has decided to levy a charge of at least 100 euros on each household's annual electricity bill, but Prof Michel Maus, a lecturer in tax law at several Flemish universities - has labelled the decision "extremely evil". He says that singles will be the greatest victims of this decision. The professor also wonders aloud whether the government is not infringing the principle of equality.

The tax, dubbed "Turteltax" after Flemish Finance Minister Annemie Turtelboom, is supposed to tackle the large debts created as a result of the introduction of so called "green power certificates" that gave householders a subsidy for installing solar panelling. Families will see their annual electricity bill rise by at least 100 euros as will singles.

"Extremely evil". This is how Prof Maus labelled the measure in the daily De Morgen. "Something has to be done about the green power certificates. Everybody agrees, but this should happen in a fair and correct way. The debt was partly created by business that in some cases made quite a profit from the green power certificates."

"I wonder if the principle of equality has not been infringed. In tax you may discriminate, but only if this is fair and correct. It's not in this case."

Prof Maus points to the growing number of singles in Flemish society and adds: "They're not taking account of social developments."