Final phase of tax shift will see net income rise from January

Final phase of tax shift will see net income rise from January

The third and final phase of the Federal Government’s tax shift comes into force from the start of the new year. The measures mean that we will see our net income rise by an average of 36 euro/month. The 40% tax band is being expanded upwards which means that a greater portion of income will be taxed within this band and a far smaller portion of income will be taxed in 45% tax band. Those on lower incomes will benefit the most. For example, someone with a gross income of…

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Huge amount of stock and large discounts expected for January sales from Thursday the 3rd of January

Huge amount of stock and large discounts expected for January sales from Thursday the 3rd of January

The two major trends for this year’s winter sales will be a huge amount of stock and large discounts right from the word go, according to various trade associations and federations. The Neutral Independent’s Union (NIU) says that the warm weather this autumn means that the size of the clothes stock available will increase by 7% compared to last year. The sales will start on Thursday the 3rd of January and end on the 31st of January. The amount of stock available will be larger than normal for several reasons:…

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What’s next for 2019 after ECB measures to save the Euro?

What’s next for 2019 after ECB measures to save the Euro?

European Central Bank (ECB) President Draghi confirmed on 13 December that its quantitative easing (QE) extended asset purchase programme (APP) would come to an end after almost 4 years. The “move of last resort” was taken in January 2015 and followed likewise decisions by the Federal Reserve (2008), Bank of England (2009) and Bank of Japan (2013). Circa €2.5 trillion of government bonds, public sector securities; corporate sector bonds; asset-backed securities and covered bonds were bought. It included monthly purchases of €60 billion in March 2015-March 2016; €80 billion in…

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Fewer people received unemployment benefits this year

Fewer people received unemployment benefits this year

The number of jobseekers in Belgium receiving unemployment benefits in November was 332,667, a decrease of 20,856 units or 5.9% over November 2017, according to statistics published on Friday by the National Employment Office, ONEM. Full unemployment decreased faster among women than among men in the same period. For women it went down by 9,909 units or 6.2%, while the drop for men was 10,947 units or 5.6%. Full unemployment among young people under the age of 25 went down by 12.3% (3,661 units) as against 7.2% (14,392 units) for…

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Russia’s gas exports to Europe reach record high

Russia’s gas exports to Europe reach record high

Russia’s gas exports to Europe reached a record high in 2018 despite diplomatic tensions and the will of the European Union to reduce its dependence on Russia, Gazprom reported on Friday. Gazprom, which has a monopoly on exports through gas pipelines, sold 201 billion cubic metres of gas to Europe and Turkey in 2018, 3.5% more than in 2017, its general director Alexeï Miller, told Russian agencies. These exports represent the lion’s share of Russia’s sales to Europe. A smaller share, open to competition, was exported in the form of…

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A convincing win for Club Brugge

A convincing win for Club Brugge

The reigning league champions Club Brugge have moved back up to second place in the Belgian First Division thanks to a resounding 5-1 home win against RFC Antwerp. The result sees Antwerp slip back into third place. Knowing that their match against Club Brugge was going to be tricky RFC Antwerp brought some extra muscle into the defence. There were a couple of early chances for Club Brugge’s Wesley and Dennis before things calmed down in front of the Antwerp goal. Club Brugge’s first goal came somewhat out of the…

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Only 2.5 percent still in work after retirement age, less than half the European average

Only 2.5 percent still in work after retirement age, less than half the European average

In Belgium, only 2.5 percent of those aged above 65 is still in work; this is less than half of the European average of 5.8 percent. In 2017, the employment rate for those aged above 65 (the present retirement age) was at 2.5 percent in Belgium. That’s according to Employment Minister Kris Peeters who used figures supplied by Eurostat. The employment rate drops with higher age; for those aged between 65 and 69 years, the employment rate was around 9 percent. The retirement age will be increased to reach 66…

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Responsible Young Drivers aim to assist some 450 persons on New Year’s Eve

Responsible Young Drivers aim to assist some 450 persons on New Year’s Eve

Some 30 to 40 volunteers have confirmed their participation in an initiative by the Responsible Young Drivers (RYD) to assist motorists in Brussels and Walloon Brabant on New Year’s Eve, according to the organisation’s spokesperson, Mathilde Toril-Garcia.“We’ll be able to help up to 450 persons,” Toril-Garcia said. The organisation expects a total of about 50 dispatchers and drivers to be involved in the initiative, which mainly involves assisting people who feel they are in no condition to drive their vehicles. In Belgium, a ban on driving with a blood alcohol…

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De Lijn rates to increase slightly in February

De Lijn rates to increase slightly in February

The De Lijn company will adapt some of its tariffs as of 1 February. SMS tickets and subscriptions will be revised upwards. “As in many other areas, we are following the evolution of the cost of living,” the Flemish public transport company said Wednesday. “Subscriptions, SMS tickets and day tickets will increase by an average of 1.73%.” Specifically, an annual Buzzy Pazz subscription (for ages 12-24) will cost 212 euros in February, against the current 209 euros. For those aged 25-64, an annual subscription will cost 319 euros (against 314),…

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Have you got any Belgian franc banknotes left?

Have you got any Belgian franc banknotes left?

Last year around 115,000 banknotes denominated in Belgium’s historic currency, the Belgian franc, were handed in to Belgium’s central bank for conversion into euros. They were worth 3.3 million euros, but it’s estimated that the total value of all the Belgian franc banknotes still out there is around 400 million euros. Keep looking! We’ve been using the euro since 2002 in Belgium, but banknotes denominated in Belgian franc with a face value of over 50 francs are still worth money! You can trade them in at Nationale Bank in Brussels,…

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