Unions are talking about a social decline, something which went down the wrong way for Bourgeois. "The main reason for staging this strike is based on false arguments. Some trades unionists are talking about a social decline, others about horror, and this is not correct. I take into account the facts."
Mr Bourgeois (N-VA) says "purchasing power has increased significantly, if you look at what the Flemish and federal government have achieved. The taxshift allowed an increase worth 5.2 percent. This will be the case this year and next year, according to the National Bank." He adds that the 5.2 hike takes into account higher bills, which make it a net purchasing power increase. He underlines that the poorest have not been left in the cold either, with higher benefits among other things.
The green party Groen has retorted that Bourgeois' quotes are "unworthy of a Flemish PM." Flemish MP An Moerenhout added that Bourgeois is seeking the confrontation with people who find it hard to make ends meet every month.