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Increasingly Tiny Tax Shifts - Economic Policy

Increasingly Tiny Tax Shifts – Economic Policy

This is an additional tax, which is specifically intended neither to fight against climate change nor to help social security.

The government is presenting us with a new tax shift, that is to say a shift in taxes presented as not increasing the existing taxation in any way, the reductions in revenue on the one hand being compensated by the creation of new taxes. We have already experienced several under the previous government. Their scope was generally quite derisory. It is each time a set of measures corresponding to political choices, intended to satisfy the various political families present in the government, without any other coherence than the search for the maintenance in place of this one. To do this, we must allow everyone to get a little something, even if they have to make a concession in another area. Each…

The government is presenting us with a new tax shift, that is to say a shift in taxes presented as not increasing the existing taxation in any way, the reductions in revenue on the one hand being compensated by the creation of new taxes. We have already experienced several under the previous government. Their scope was generally quite derisory. It is each time a set of measures corresponding to political choices, intended to satisfy the various political families present in the government, without any other coherence than the search for the maintenance in place of this one. To do this, we must allow everyone to get a little something, even if they have to make a concession in another area. Each party obviously makes sure to only talk about its “trophy”. In this case, there are two measures. On the one hand, a reduction (finally!) of the special social security contribution which affects taxable income. On the other side, a tax on boarding during air transport. This special social security contribution was passed in 1994 to, it was claimed, ease the burden of the social security deficit. It is still in deficit and we obviously do not explain how the abolition of this contribution will change anything. Either this deficit is acceptable, and there was no need to provide for a contribution, or we have decided today to create a hole in an attempt to plug another one. Still, today, this famous contribution was actually a small additional tax on income. The fact of calculating it separately and stipulating it in favor of social security and not of the Treasury made it possible to assert that it was not a tax when it had all the other characteristics. But in fact, it was added to an already very heavy income tax, as we know. It is therefore time to dismantle it, after 28 years during which no one had the courage to abolish it, nor that of integrating it into the income tax, which would have led to raising the scale. As the biggest taboo of Belgian public finances is that it is unimaginable to reduce revenue, it was necessary to “compensate” for this reduction in a contribution by creating a new tax. And the time had come to give satisfaction to environmentalists, after the debacle of their nuclear program which led them, contrary to their doctrine, to accept the extension of the life of two reactors. For that, nothing like a demagogic tax for the defenders of the planet that they say they are. We therefore created a tax on boarding planes, to show that we were fighting to reduce CO2 emissions, which we were ready to increase with the gas-fired power plants wanted by Ecolo. This is why you will pay a few euros more for any air journey: 2 euros for all journeys over 500 kilometers within the European Union (plus Switzerland and the United Kingdom), 4 euros for other journeys over 500 kilometers and 10 euros for journeys of less than 500 kilometers. No one has bothered to find out whether there are other possibilities of reaching one’s destination within a reasonable time: to avoid the tax, one will have to go to Strasbourg by car… This is a additional tax which is not specifically intended to fight against climate change, nor to help social security. Just one more ideological tax but which, fortunately, will hardly hinder the travel wishes of Belgians deprived of escape by ineffective covid standards.

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