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New Belgian govt. raises its own wages by 8% - paper

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The new government in Belgium raised its own wages by 8% contrary to promises of 5% cuts under the spending cuts plan, the Het Nieuwsblad op Zondag paper said on Sunday.

The new government in Belgium raised its own wages by 8% contrary to promises of 5% cuts under the spending cuts plan, the Het Nieuwsblad op Zondag paper said on Sunday.

The ministers’ new wages were approved at a cabinet session on December 16.

Therefore annual wages of Belgian deputy prime ministers have been increased from 224,000 euros to 248,000 pretax, ministers’ salaries from 220,000 to 238,000 euros and state secretaries’ from 210,000 to 227,000 euros.

The paper did not cite the figures for the premier.

Belgian nationalists have already expressed their anger at the new move. Ben Weyts of the New Flemish Alliance opposition party said “ministers are only enriching themselves at a time when others have to save.”

On Saturday, the Belgian government decided to freeze about a billion euros of budget expenses for a few months after the European Commission refused to approve the Belgian 2012 budget.

The commission disagreed with the Belgian government calculations that the budget deficit would be 2.8 % GDP with 0.8 % economic growth. According to the commission, the budget deficit would reach 3.1% given such growth rate, which is above the 3% margin set by the EU’s Stability and Growth Pact.

The European Commission has asked the Belgian government to find 1.2-2 billion euros to cover the budget deficit by January 9.

 

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