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What changes on 1 August?

As ever a new month brings with it the introduction of new measures that to a lesser or a greater extent will affect us in our everyday lives. Flandersnews.be has summarised what’s new and what changes from Monday 1 August. 

GP consultations over the phone no longer free

In future anyone consulting their GP by telephone or video call will have to pay a small fee (on top of what their health mutual pays the doctor) for the privilege. Doctors will be able to charge their patients up to 10.38 euro for a telephone consultation. Of this, 2 euros is payable by the patient, the rest being paid by their health mutual.

The fee for video consultations is set at 23.06 euro, 4 euros of which will be paid by the patient.

In both cases, the patient contribution for patients who are entitled to an increased reimbursement (for example people that are on social security benefits) is 1 euro lower (1 and 3 euro respectively).

Pensions and benefits up 2%

As the so-called “trigger index mechanism” was activated again last month, pensioners and those claiming benefits will see what they receive from the state increase by a further 2% in August. With higher energy prices and rises in the price of many foodstuffs fuelling inflation, forecasters say the trigger index mechanism is likely to be activated again in December. 

Roadworthiness check-up without an appointment

For the first time in almost two and a half years motorists that need to get their vehicles checked out in order to obtain a roadworthiness certificate (known in the UK as an M.O.T.) will no longer have to make an appointment at their local test centre. 

Each test centre will have at least one day a week on which motorists can just turn up an wait their turn without having made an appointment in advance. 

33% price rise for a ticket for the Antwerp Water Bus

From 1 August the price for a single ticket for the Antwerp Water Bus will increase from 3 to 4 euro. A return ticket will set you back 6.5 euro, a rise of 1.5 euro.

The price of a day pass for the service is up 20% from 12.5 to 15 euro. The price of concessionary fares (pensioners, young people,…) are also increasing. The Antwerp Water Bus links the centre of Antwerp with places such as Kallo, Hemiksem and Kruibeke. It has a total of 8 stops along its route. 

Cheap loans for home renovations in Brussels

Residents of the Brussels-Capital Region will be able to apply for cheap loans to help them pay for renovation work on their homes. The Ecoreno loan scheme is the brainchild of the Regional Housing Fund. It covers a wide ride of home-improvement work from traditional renovations to isolation and measures to improve a house or flat’s energy efficiency.

Interest payable on the loans will vary between 0% and 1% according to a person’s income.

From January 2023 landlords that let out houses and/or flats will also be able to apply for a loan through the scheme. They will pay between 1% and 2% interest depending on their income. 

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