Parliament committee approves controversial share tax bill

Parliament committee approves controversial share tax bill

The federal parliament’s finance committee has approved a bill that would impose a special tax on share incomes of more than one million euros. The bill was passed by ten votes to six, reflecting its controversial nature. Opponents, representing the richest of shareholders, argue the threshold is arbitrary and therefore discriminatory. Others warn that the new tax will simply encourage those with extensive share portfolios to seek offshore and tax-free ways to hide their income from the tax authorities. The tax would be introduced at 0.15% on all holdings worth…

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2021’s ‘Doomsday Clock’ stuck at 100 seconds until the end of the world

2021’s ‘Doomsday Clock’ stuck at 100 seconds until the end of the world

After a year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic and continued fears over nuclear risks and climate change, the symbolic Doomsday Clock remains stuck at the same time as last year. “The hands of the Doomsday Clock remain at 100 seconds to midnight, as close to midnight as ever,” Rachel Bronson, president of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS), said on Wednesday (27 January). Since 1947, the nonprofit organisation annually adjusts its symbolic annual end-of-days prediction, which “conveys how close we are to destroying our civilization with dangerous technologies of…

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Van Ranst refuses Belgium’s payment for experts after Twitter clash

Van Ranst refuses Belgium’s payment for experts after Twitter clash

Belgian virologist Marc Van Ranst refuses to accept the compensation that the GEMS experts will soon receive for their advice to the government, he announced on Twitter. In recent days, Van Ranst made headlines across the country for getting involved in a fierce discussion on social media with Georges-Louis Bouchez, the leader of the Francophone liberal MR party. Bouchez repeatedly claimed that the experts were already getting paid by the government, adding that they should conform more to political decisions. Van Ranst, however, stated that the experts were not being…

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Virus lockdowns caused shift to ‘private mobility’: report

Virus lockdowns caused shift to ‘private mobility’: report

The need to avoid crowded spaces led Europeans to opt for “private mobility modes”, such as cycling, walking, and private vehicles, according to the European Mobility Atlas 2021, a report analysing key facts and figures about transport in Europe. European travellers abandoned public transport for private cars during the COVID-19 pandemic, a trend that may harm efforts to drastically cut emissions in the sector, the report found. Even though sales of bicycles skyrocketed during the pandemic, the most popular means of transport for longer journeys remained the private car. Air…

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Consultative Committee of Belgium gathers tomorrow: what should we expect?

Consultative Committee of Belgium gathers tomorrow: what should we expect?

We expect to see 70+ freaks… It’s a joke! Belgium’s Consultative Committee will meet again on Friday to evaluate the situation and discuss the possible reopening of the hairdressers and other contact professions. As announced during the previous Consultative Committee, the authorities will assess if the figures have evolved favourably enough to reopen hairdressers, beauticians and other non-medical contact professions on 13 February. On Wednesday, Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke opened the door for a reopening, but stressed that hairdressers would “an isolated issue,” and “should not be seen as…

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