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Federal government’s spent 11.5 billion on support to the economy so far

Belgium’s federal government has already spent 11.5 billion euros to support the economy during the corona crisis.  The figure is unprecedented.  2.7 billion euros has already been earmarked for support measures for next year. 

Add to that the federal support 1.1 billion released by the Flemish government so far this year and monies provided by the local authorities and you can easily see that this is the largest support package since the Second World War.

The lion’s share of the 11.5 billion will go to independent professionals and employees.  Independent professionals are receiving bridging funds worth 4 billion euros in all.  Temporary unemployment benefit for employees totals 5 billion euros. The extended temporary unemployment regime also allows businesses to keep workers on the payroll who might otherwise be sacked.

A further 1.5 billion in direct support will allow businesses to beef up their reserves. These support measures include VAT reductions in hospitality and increased tax breaks. Some of the cash goes to the neediest too including people on minimum benefit.

Eva De Bleeker (Flemish liberal), federal secretary of state for the budget, says the support cash was necessary to ensure the survival of our economy: “We must ensure we can once again deliver a recovery and growth together with our businesses, employees and independent professionals.”

“During the first wave we had to move quickly.  Today we are trying to tailor support to the needs of the sectors still hit by the corona crisis.”

 

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