Too few politicians live alone - Economic Policy

Too few politicians live alone – Economic Policy

How many parliamentarians live alone? Obviously not a lot. On the other hand, society has more and more people living alone who, as a result, pay more charges and fees than others. In Brussels, half of the households are made up of a single person. We do not see this reality reflected in the composition of parliaments. Carla Dejonghe (Open VLD) and Aurélie Czekalski (MR), single and elected to the Brussels Parliament, join forces and plead for a “reflex singles” in politics.

In total, 1.8 million people live alone in Belgium and their number will grow further in the years to come. In our country, one in three households currently consists of only one person, and in large cities the ratio is even 1 to 2.

Most of their colleagues live as a couple. This means that politics often remains blind to the needs and issues of people living alone. The classic family of two parents and two children remains the norm in the eyes of policy makers and often the media. This leads to disadvantageous measures for single people in the field of (lump sum) taxes. This is why the two liberals advocate a “reflex singles“: for new policy measures, the legislator must take into account the consequences for people living alone and ensure that they do not penalize or discriminate against them. It is also important to identify existing problems in order to work on developing policies that eliminate what penalizes people living alone.

“Political decision-makers should always take into account people living alone in their choices. Brussels must lead by example.”

Living alone is very expensive. In the current context of declining purchasing power, it is even more difficult for single people to make ends meet. Electricity or heating for a dwelling of a person living alone costs as much as that of a family. A single childless person with an average income spends about 56.3% of his gross salary on taxes and social security contributions. If he has a higher salary, this percentage can reach 60%. These same people have more difficulty obtaining a mortgage, buying a house, cannot afford a career break, have less purchasing power… When a close friend or godson inherits, he is subject to maximum inheritance tax, which can reach 80% in Brussels and Wallonia.

Modernization, greater neutrality of our tax system and a different vision of today’s society are needed. The traditional family can no longer be the norm for developing new laws. We must propose more neutral legislation. The issue of people living alone affects many policies at all levels of power. It is important to know in which areas people living alone are disadvantaged today. An in-depth study of the existing legislation would already be a good start.

Already in 2015, Brussels MP Carla Dejonghe brought together a group of people living alone with different profiles. The Belgian association all1, which defends the interests of people living alone, was born out of the need to make more noise for this large group. In Parliament, Carla Dejonghe also presented the discussion note “Living alone in Brussels”, which generated a working group. His colleague, Aurélie Czekalski, has been campaigning since his election for a better approach to the problems of people living alone, particularly from a tax point of view, but also in terms of housing.

The two Brussels deputies want a policy “single friendly“. Many people will find themselves alone at one time or another in their lives due to the vagaries of life. There is no age limit for living alone. The group is very diverse: single, divorced, widowed and widows, single-parent families, etc. All face the same problems, often financial, and the same prejudices.It is time to change that!

Carla Dejonghe (Open VLD) and Aurélie Czekalski (MR), single and elected to the Brussels Parliament, join forces and plead for a “reflex singles” in politics.

In total, 1.8 million people live alone in Belgium and their number will grow further in the years to come. In our country, one in three households currently consists of only one person, and in large cities the ratio is even 1 to 2. Most of their colleagues live in couples. This means that politics often remains blind to the needs and issues of people living alone. The classic family of two parents and two children remains the norm in the eyes of policy makers and often the media. This leads to disadvantageous measures for single people in the field of (lump sum) taxes. This is why the two liberals advocate a “singles reflex”: for new political measures, the legislator must take into account the consequences for people living alone and ensure that they do not penalize or discriminate against them. It is also important to identify the existing problems in order to work on the development of policies that eliminate what penalizes people living alone. Living alone is very expensive. In the current context of declining purchasing power, it is even more difficult for single people to make ends meet. Electricity or heating for a dwelling of a person living alone costs as much as that of a family. A single childless person with an average income spends about 56.3% of his gross salary on taxes and social security contributions. If he has a higher salary, this percentage can reach 60%. These same people have more difficulty obtaining a mortgage, buying a house, cannot afford a career break, have less purchasing power… When a close friend or godson inherits, he is subject to maximum inheritance tax, which can reach 80% in Brussels and Wallonia. Modernization, greater neutrality of our tax system and a different vision of today’s society are needed. The traditional family can no longer be the norm for developing new laws. We must propose more neutral legislation. The issue of people living alone affects many policies at all levels of power. It is important to know in which areas people living alone are disadvantaged today. An in-depth study of the existing legislation would already be a good start. Already in 2015, Brussels MP Carla Dejonghe brought together a group of people living alone with different profiles. The Belgian association all1, which defends the interests of people living alone, was born from the need to make more noise for this large group. In Parliament, Carla Dejonghe also presented the discussion note “Living alone in Brussels”, which generated a working group. His colleague, Aurélie Czekalski, has been campaigning since her election for a better approach to the problems of people living alone, particularly from a tax point of view, but also in terms of housing. The two Brussels MPs want a “single friendly” policy. Many people will find themselves alone at one point or another in their lives due to the vagaries of life. There is no age to live alone. The group is very diverse: singles, divorcees, widows and widowers, single-parent families, etc. All are faced with the same problems, often financial, and the same prejudices. It’s time to change that!

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