Budget deficit to be twice the level initially forecast

According to new projections published by the Monitoring Committee, this year’s budget deficit will be more than twice the amount originally  forecast. The figures that were published on Monday now say that the federal budget will end the year 7 billion euro in the red, 3.8 billion euro more than what had originally been forecast. 

The figures from the Monitoring Committee are the first revised  figures to have been published for many months. In the light of this the civil servants that work for the Monitoring Committee decided that it would be a useful exercise to do so.

The results of their work form the basis of articles in a number of Tuesday morning’s newspapers.     

Charles Michel’s (Francophone liberal) minority caretaker Federal Government had hoped to end 2019 with a budget deficit of 0.7% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product), as was agreed with the European Commission. However, according to the figures released by the Monitoring Committee on Monday, Belgium will end 2019 with a budget deficit of 1.5% of GDP. 

Finance Minister blames fall of the government

The Federal Finance Minister Alexander De Croo (Flemish liberal) blames the fall of the government at the end of last year for the poor budget deficit forecast. Speaking on VRT television, Mr De Croo said that as the outgoing caretaker government doesn’t have a majority it is unable to take measures to get the budget back on track. He added that this is an important reasons why a new federal coalition needs to be formed as soon as possible.