The Federal Parliament approves “Basic Engery Package" measures

On Thursday evening, Belgium’s Federal Parliament (photo, above) voted to approve measures put forward by the Federal Government to help people in Belgium with their soaring energy bills. The measures include financial support for households during November and December as well as help for households and business that are unable to pay their electricity or gas bills.

Households with gas heating will receive a state subsidy grant of 135 euro per month. Meanwhile, 61 euro per month will be given to each household that has mains electricity (so just about everyone). These amounts will be deducted automatically from energy bills.Families on higher income will by back at least some of the grant through a levy that will be added to their tax bill.

Meanwhile, households with oil-fired heating will receive a “heating oil cheque” to the value of 300 euro. In order to receive they will have to apply to the relevant authority before the end of March 2023.

Legislation was also approved to help entrepreneurs and employers who are experiencing financial problems as a result of the energy crisis. They can suspend the payment of their social security and other non-wage labour costs for the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2022 and the 1st quarter of 2023. This is intended to prevent firms encountering cash flow issues. Similar measures were taken during the coronavirus crisis.

The bills passed on Thursday evening will be published in the Belgian State Journal as soon as possible. The legislation is written in such a way that it can be easily extended by means of a Royal Decree. Such a decree can either prolong the duration of the period that the measures are in force or increase (or decrease) the level of financial support given.

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