State reform costs regions dearly, says Brussels Economic Affairs Minister

The Special Finances Act stemming from Belgium’s Sixth State Reform is costly for the country’s regions, says Brussels-Capital Region Economic Affairs Minister Didier Gosuin.

“We’ve lost at least 150 million euros in the Brussels Region alone,” Gosuin, who belongs to the Democratic Federalist Independent (DéFI)) party, said on Wednesday in Le Soir daily. “The Federal State’s finances are being sanitized on the backs of the regions,” he added.

Since the 6th State Reform, the regions generate the bulk of their income from the regional additions to personal income tax. A national solidarity mechanism that has been set up enables the Brussels Region to attain the national average. However, federal solidarity will gradually disappear from 2025 onward, while the capital’s population keeps growing, thanks to the arrival of persons who do not all contribute to the treasury, including international public servants and needy persons, Le Soir explained.

Moreover, tax earnings are less than forecast in the Special Finances Act.

Estimating the shortfall linked to underestimated costs, Didier Gosuin said: “We’re in for at least 150 million in losses for Brussels Region alone.”

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