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Government is thinking of a 650 euro discount on energy bills, but not for everyone & More Latest News Here


Prime Minister Alexander De Croo wants to announce a new energy package today. The middle class in particular could count on support. A basic energy package should yield an average household about 650 euros. There is still discussion about who should get that package.

Hannes Heynderickx

Fifty-fifty. For example, an insider estimates the federal government’s chances of coming up with a new package of energy measures today. Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (Open VLD) has certainly seen his chance, now that the Flemish government is delaying the energy issue for another week. The package that the federal team has prepared focuses mainly on the energy bills of the middle class. The reasoning is that the one million households that claim the social rate are already well supported. For the group above – the middle class, so to speak – De Croo wants to create a basic energy package.

Yesterday there was already a lot of consultation at the level of the cabinets about this basic package. It was agreed to continue working on a proposal from Prime Minister De Croo: you would receive a hefty discount on the first 5,000 kWh of energy from November. This amounts to about 650 euros, perhaps spread over both the gas and electricity bill. Sources close to De Croo confirm that the discount will be in the order of magnitude anyway, even if the details will change later.

Variable contract

The discount is not for everyone. In addition to the people within the social rate, the government is thinking of restricting only households with a variable contract. There is still discussion about who recently concluded a permanent contract, because they also receive sky-high monthly invoices. The main point of contention between the coalition partners is whether the highest incomes should also receive the discount. They fall by the wayside in De Croo’s proposal. Although: they would first get the discount on their invoice and later have to pay it back through taxes. But the French-speaking liberals are against this in principle, Minister of Finance Vincent Van Peteghem (CD&V) mainly sees practical problems because the electricity bill has to be linked to the tax bill.

In any case, the government is thinking of spending between 500 and 700 million euros on that basic energy package. And that’s not all: other measures will also cost money. For example, Economy Minister Pierre-Yves Dermagne (PS) has once again drawn up a framework for temporary unemployment to help companies in difficulty to keep their employees on board, just like during the corona crisis. Other instruments from corona times will also be dusted off.

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