The Flemish Interest wants to work on a reduced VAT rate on energy.
Currently, this rate is at the highest level: 21%, the same rate as for luxury goods. Can't, says the Flemish Interest, which wants a rate of 6%. A bill by the party around here, for both the domestic consumption of electricity and gas, is on the agenda of the competent House Committee today. "Many families are literally left out in the cold due to this government's exploitative VAT rate. You can choose not to buy luxury goods, but not heating or relieving is of course not an option." In recent years, energy prices have skyrocketed. This is mainly because of interventions by the government, states Flemish Interest. At least 400,000 Belgian households live in energy poverty. This was revealed as early as December, based on figures from energy regulator CREG. The Latest News brought this back to the spotlight last Tuesday – on 'thick sweater day'. Among those affected, up to 30% of single people and as many as 40-50% of single-parent families are. 5.2% of the population surveyed by the Belgian statistics agency Statbel is not even able to heat the house properly. "For them it is thick sweater day every day", it sounds to the Flemish Interest. The party has therefore taken parliamentary initiative to reduce the burden on energy, something the nationalist party has already campaigned for in the previous legislature. Flemish Interest: "Heating yourself is taxed at the same VAT rate as Cuban cigars: antisocial exploitation"The Flemish Interest bill would permanently reduce the distribution of gas and electricity to the other products provided for in basic needs, such as nutrition and drink. In this way, the party also wants to bring VAT policy in line with the existing gas and electricity law, which itself states that electricity and gas heating are basic needs." Many families are literally left out in the cold due to this government's exploitative VAT rate. Heating yourself is taxed at the same VAT rate as Cuban cigars! You may choose not to buy luxury goods, but not heating or alleviating is not an option," says Mp Kurt Ravyts, who sits in the Energy Committee for the Flemish Interest. "If we add that the ODV costs – the so-called 'public service obligations' – already account for an average of 329 euros from an energy bill for a family. These are taxes for things that the government itself does not want to pay such as green electricity certificates. And that's what VAT will be levied on: charges on charges. Nothing but antisocial exploitation."