Parliament Speaker Patrick Dewael (Flemish liberal).

Caretaker government reaches two-month budget deal

The federal caretaker government has approved a budget plan for the next two months. This includes 67 million euros extra to engage new staff in the care sector, but this option is subject to new legislation to be introduced. The government is prepared to cooperate. 

As the caretaker government only has limited powers - a new coalition stil has to be formed after the 26 May election, but real talks haven't even started - it has to cope with monthly budgets which equal one 12th part of the previous annual budget. 

For this reason, it was not easy to get extra cash for new nurses, as this would exceed the caretaker budget. However, last week an alternative majority, made up of left-wing parties and far-right Vlaams Belang, approved this option. A fund should now be created to have this cash ready, but more work is needed before this will be finished. 

The minister responsible for Social Affairs Maggie De Block (Flemish liberal) says the government will do its best to make sure the extra cash will be there, but can't promise anything. The whole construction shows how little room for manoeuvre the present caretaker actually has.