Employment Minister rejects employers’ work bonus proposals

The Flemish employers’ federation Voka has drawn up proposals to help resolve the labour shortage that is prevalent in some sectors of the economy. Voka suggest that workers with lower gross incomes should be given help from the Flemish Government in the form of a work bonus that would result in them taking home 100 euro/month more.

This would provide an incentive to take work in the sectors of the economy that pay the lowest wages.

However, Voka’s proposals have gone down like a lead balloon with the Flemish Employment Minister Philippe Muyters (nationalist). Mr Muyters told VRT Radio 1’s morning news and current affairs programme ‘De ochtend’ that he believes that the Flemish Government should above all promote vocational training and research and development.

Voka had suggest that all those earning less than 2,500 euro/month gross such receive 100 euro/month net more from the Flemish Government to supplement their income. However, Mr Muyters told VRT radio that

"I am not really positive about this. It is good that people take home more, but this is already the case thanks to the federal tax shift”.

The Flemish Employment Minister believes that Flanders should above all look at how the long-term unemployed can be put on the path towards work.  

"This can be achieved through vocational training and by investing in research and innovation”.

Mr Muyters added that Voka’s proposals would cost around 500 million euro “And I don’t see where we could get 500 million euro from to pay it”.

Previously a system similar to that proposed by Voka was in existence in Flanders, but it has since been scrapped.   

Mr Muyters says that this is because "It is not the most efficient measure and is not the solution that will ensure that vacancies that aren’t getting filled suddenly do get filled.