"Let multinationals like Google and Amazon pay 21 percent corporate tax in Belgium"

It's Labour Day today. On the eve of 1 May, the president of the Flemish socialists Conner Rousseau (Vooruit) joined a Joe Biden plea. 

Conner Rouseau pressed for a minimum tax for companies - in Belgium, some multinationals are enjoying a tax benefit, hardly paying any tax. U.S. president Joe Biden has suggested a similar idea recently in order to finance a part of is investment programme. He gets the support of the IMF and of Amazon boss Jeff Bezos. 

In his online speech, Rouseau said that "it is not correct that our self-employed people, our family businesses and small to middle-sized companies (KMO's) which are very creative and  bending over backwards to keep their businesses going, have to pay the highest rate while foreign players making huge profits, such as the multinationals Google and Amazon, are not paying their fair share, destroying dreams and jobs in Belgium".  Mr Rousseau suggested a corporate tax worth 21 percent: "If this is possible in America, it should certainly be possible here." 

Conner Rousseau also said that the government has to keep investing in the health care system, also paying special attention to mental health in times of corona. 

"Lowest wages should go up"

Miranda Ulens of the socialist trades union ABVV wants the lowest wages to go up. She said that the CEO's salaries went up 1.6 percent on average last year. So why should workers be content with just 0.4 percent? No way, she said, referring to the ongoing wage negotiations, which have been taken over by the federal government. 

Peter Mertens of the far-left 'Partij van de Arbeid' demands free wage negotiations for every sector. He repeated what many other left-wing parties said: workers can't be satisfied with just 0.4 percent extra wage on top of the index system. Far-right Vlaams Belang wants the people's income to go up by changing the tax system. The annual tax-free sum should be lifted to 11,500 euros, which should leave the working class with an extra 625 euros each year (when working full-time). 

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