New Flemish government wants to save €110 million by adjusting child support

The Flemish government wants to save €110 million by tweaking the child support index, according to several sources close to the government negotiations.

The government will save more than €110 million on child support by not adjusting the amount of money a family receives for a third child according to the increased lifespan for five years. The measure will only apply to those who still receive child support according to the old system, which was replaced by the renewed Growth Package at the beginning of 2019.

The indexing will be implemented later in the year, which means that it will take longer for the government to see the expenditure rise. However, it also means that families will have to wait longer to receive a higher amount of money.

“Child support is one of the most effective means of pulling families from poverty,” said Jos Geysels, the chairman of the poverty reduction organisation Decenniumdoelen, to De Morgen. “All academic studies agree on that part. Jambon claims that his coalition agreement is scientifically substantiated, but that does not seem to be the case for this measure. It also does not seem to send a very warm message,” he said, adding that for large families with low incomes losing a few tens of euros a month because of the non-indexing can make a world of difference.

Minister-President Jambon’s coalition partner CD&V criticised the new measure and only agreed to it because it paved the way for extra resources in healthcare, the party said, reports Het Laatste Nieuws.

However, the healthcare sector has to save on a large part of the additional budget as well, around €100 million of the promised €550 million. “The budget seems to be bigger than last time,” said CD&V in De Morgen,”but you have to pay close attention to everything you have to pay with it,” the party added.

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