At 6 pm the press conference was held following the Consultation Committee. In particular, the federal government has announced that it has decided to extend support measures to the population (reduction of VAT, gas and electricity and social tariffs for one million households) to cope with the explosion in energy prices.
THE 6 DECISIONS
1 / Reduction of consumption
The cheapest energy is the one we don’t consume. Using less gas, electricity and fuel will allow us to reduce demand and thus reverse the balance of power between supply and demand in the markets. This approach is collective. It concerns citizens, businesses and public authorities. To launch this dynamic, the federal government has decided to lower the temperature to 19 degrees in all of its buildings. The use of air conditioning will be regulated (up to a maximum of 27 degrees). The lighting in federal buildings and monuments will be turned off between 7pm and 6am.
2 / Assistance to the population
The federal government has decided to extend all support measures already in place beyond the winter (until March 31, 2023). – extension of the target of social tariffs (to the benefit of one million households) – reduction of excise duties on petrol and diesel – 6% VAT on electricity and gas – identical financial compensation measure for fuel oil Discussions also with energy suppliers so that consumers who request repayment plans can get them on demand.
3 / Bank support to the most affected families
The Confederation is in dialogue with the financial sector to offer a breath of fresh air to the families most affected, in particular by postponing the repayment of mortgage loans. Banking products will be developed by banks with the aim of expanding access to energy saving measures.
4 / Aid to businesses
The Federal, with the Regions, is examining the implementation of the temporary crisis framework proposed by the European Commission in Belgium to support our companies in the face of the surge in prices. A consultation will take place with the most affected sectors, representatives of employers and employees.
5 / Promotion of investments in durable solutions and insulation
The federal government has already reduced VAT from 21% to 6% for investments in solar panels, solar boilers and heat pumps for homes under the age of 10 (valid until the end of 2023). The measure to reduce VAT to 6% for demolitions and reconstructions has been extended until the end of 2023 under the same conditions as today.
6 / Fighting excess profits
The government will take the necessary steps to “skim” the excess profits that some energy companies are currently making. A working group made up of experts from CREG, FPS Economy and FPS Finances is tasked with examining where these excess profits lie, whether they can be captured in Belgium and what fiscal and legal tools can be used for this purpose . while ensuring a level playing field in the energy sector. In the nuclear energy sector we are already addressing this problem for the four most recent plants, through the corporation tax, but also an additional levy as part of the distribution fee. This contribution will increase this year from 750 to 838 million euros, an amount that will be fully redistributed to consumers.