Belgian entrepreneurs propose radical reform of taxes
More than 50 Flemish entrepreneurs have written an open letter to Belgian politicians outlining 36 proposals for a better policy. Besides a radical reform of the Belgian fiscal system and a new view on migration, the entrepreneurs also have recommendations on the subject of mobility.
They propose road-pricing on weekdays between 7 and 9.30 a.m., especially around highly congested cities and for those who drive alone. Furthermore, they want a tax on flights and higher taxes on fossil fuels. The extra income could be used to lower taxes on labor. The letter also states that home batteries should be mandatory once they are affordable.
The letter is an initiative of Former Dexia CEO, Karel de Boeck, and former car broker, Karel Cardoen. They are backed by several renowned names in the Flemish economy. Philippe Haspeslagh (Ardo), Jan De Clerck (Domo), Vic Swerts (Soudal), Ingrid Ceusters (Ceusters) and Ludo Sarens (Sarens), among others.
The timing of the letter is no coincidence. It comes at the start of the Flemish government negotiations. “We are both fathers and grandfathers who are concerned about the direction in which this country is going. And we don’t want to sit on the fence,” says Karel Cardoen. “We certainly don’t think we know everything better. Politics is more complex than the business world. But we do want to have our say to get the debate on certain important themes going.”
Karel De Boeck: The state of the country is serious. It is expensive and complicated; not enough people are at work. Belgium is comparable to southern European countries: a high national debt in spite of high taxes. It is time for practical solutions. We plead that politicians work with each other differently. Less fighting and a more rational dialogue that leads to solutions.”
Fiscal reform: a flat-rate tax of 20% on all forms of income, both private and business. Cutting back on subsidies, both private and business.
Migration: an objective study to see how many migrants and of which ‘type’ (country of origin, religion, education) society can handle each year without losing its identity and immediately employing migrants without papers if they have a chance of getting a residence permit.
Mobility: road-pricing on weekdays between 7 and 9.30 a.m., especially around highly congested cities and for those who drive alone.
Justice: Focus on drug-related crime. By thoroughly addressing this, give more time and money to justice for other cases.
Social policy: housing the homeless.
Environment: Changing laws to make installing wind turbines easier. Tax flights and fossil fuels. Make home batteries mandatory once affordable.