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This study was commissioned by the Central Economic Council (CEC), and more particularly by the Special Advisory Commission ‘Construction’. It presents the sectoral results of a report that was produced in 2011 by the National Bank of Belgium and the Federal Planning Bureau. The federal government had asked both institutions to conduct a comprehensive study of a fiscal reform aiming at encouraging employment and supporting business competitiveness. As requested by the CEC, we comment here in detail the impact of a VAT increase without additional measures, on the one hand, and the impact of a VAT increase with transitional neutralization of the effect of that increase on the indexation. As regards the other measures examined, tables of results are annexed.
This Working Paper is aimed at describing the current version of Federal Planning Bureau’s medium-term macrosectoral model, named HERMES. This model is used to produce on a regular basis medium-term outlooks for the Belgian economy. In addition to the main macroeconomic aggregates (GDP, private consumption, external trade, investments,…), those outlooks also concern labour market aggregates, detailed public finances, energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The HERMES model is also used to compute the impact of policy measures and external shocks on the Belgian economy.
The 1996 Act establishes a preventive wage norm, based on the expected evolution of the labour costs in three reference countries, namely France, Germany and the Netherlands. It refers for those three countries to forecasts drawn up by the OECD. In its "Economic Outlook", the Federal Planning Bureau (FPB) analyses in the chapter on the labour market, particularly since the 2007 edition, the monitoring of the “wage norm”. This analysis revealed the existence of different concepts of wage costs. This note aims to clarify and explain these concepts as well as the wage developments in these different meanings. It also seeks to raise questions related to these concepts
Every three years, each EU member state is required to set out its political priorities related to economic growth and job creation in a so-called National Reform Programme ( NRP ). Gauged by the latest medium-term economic outlook produced by the Federal Planning Bureau, compliance with the main macroeconomic objectives contained in the Belgian NRP will still require sizable efforts, especially regarding the labour market. Furthermore, our analysis shows that reducing social security contributions in order to lower the tax wedge on labour as foreseen in the NRP , is efficient in increasing the employment rate, especially when targeted at low wage earners, but also that such policies have a negative effect on the objectives related to public finances and CO 2 emissions.