Prime Minister leads bilateral talks with a view to resolving fiscal and social issues

The Prime Minister, Charles Michel, has today been pursuing bilateral talks.

The avenue of a tax on share accounts is still on the table. The head of the federal government must now assess by what means coalition partners can implement such a tax.

The Prime Minister had to return, this weekend, to having bi-lateral meetings. This came after the Open Vld were opposed to the concept of a tax on share accounts. This avenue was on the table as an alternative to capital gains tax, which the Flemish Christian Democrats had demanded for a long time but which the Open Vld and New Flemish Alliance are refusing. The New Flemish Alliance have not proven very enthusiastic as regards a tax on share accounts.

The Ministerial Select Committee met for several hours during Sunday evening. It was further agreed that the Prime Minister would lead a series of bilateral discussions with his deputies, following which there should then be a plenary session of the Ministerial Select Committee. Charles Michel is likely to be seeking, during these bilateral meetings, a way to make this tax acceptable to all partners, provided that this is done within appropriate parameters.

Some sources close to those negotiating are not ruling out the possibility of the meeting anticipated later in the day finalising all issues involved, although they state that there is an enormous amount of work to be done. Besides budget discussions, talks are revolving around fair taxation, share accounts, corporation tax reform and several dozen proposals within the socio-economic sphere. It is not known if an agreement on the organisation Arco (in which many Belgians invested before its collapse) will form part of these negotiations.

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