PM calls on MPs to “act responsibly”

Tuesday is yet another crucial day for the Federal Prime Minister Charles Michel’s (Franccophone liberal) minority Federal Government. After having failed to persuade his former coalition partners the Flemish nationalists to offer their support to the federal budget, the future of Mr Michel's government is on a knife-edge. After speakers from the  both the left and the right-wing opposition had made their positions clear it was the turn of the Prime Minister to take to the stand.   

Mr Michel told parliament that the conditions set out by the Flemish nationalists for them to offer their support were unacceptable and could end up with Belgium embarking on the road to confederalism or result in early federal election.     

As the Prime Minister had anticipated that the budget probably won’t be approved by a majority of MPs, he proposes working with so-called “provisional twelfths”, a system that would see a the federal government having one twelfth of this year’s budget being put at its disposal every month between now and the elections next May. However, this would mean that between now and then the government would have to seek parliament’s approval every month for the “provisional twelfths”. The Prime Minister called on MP to "act responsibly".   

Mr Michel suggested a so-called “third way”, a two way street would that see cooperation between parliament and the minority government.  

The Prime Minister made a number of proposals that will have been of interest to the left of centre opposition such as looking into how domestic energy bills can be reduced. He also said that he wants the “welfare envelop” and tax shift measures to be introduced in full and to increase purchasing power.