By Isabelle De Vinck, Brussels office
On 22 July 2014, the Brussels parliament adopted the motion of confidence for its new Government. The six parties that form the majority coalition are, the PS (Francophone Socialists), the CDH (Francophone Centrist) and FDF (Right wing fighting for the linguistic rights of French-speakers), Open VLD (Flemish liberals), Sp.a (Flemish Socialists) and CD&V (Flemish Christian-Democrats).
One of the key parts of the coalition agreement is a tax reform which should come into force on 1 January 2017. This reform will most likely, remove on one hand the annual regional tax and 1% on tax on revenues, and on the other hand, increase the property tax. In addition to this tax reform, the employment chapter of the agreement of the new Brussels Government provides a socio-professional integration contract that would guarantee all young people a “professional activity” in the 18 months after leaving school. Also the new coalition highlights their willingness to make from Brussels a digital capital and to further promote its tourism. For the urban renewal of Brussels, ten new specialised districts will be created as new centers of economic development. Regarding housing, the government announced multiple actions including rent-allocation for those on low incomes, building 6500 new social houses and a public agency in charge of student housing. Finally, the government will intensively invest in public transport, the walking network and cycling routes.
The Brussels Regional Government is as follows:
- Rudi Vervoort, Minister-President in charge of local government, territorial development, urban policy, monuments and sites, student affairs, tourism, public service, scientific research and public cleanliness
- Guy Vanhengel, Vice-President and Minister for finance, budget, external relations and development cooperation
- Didier Gosuin, Minister for employment, economy, fight against the fire and emergency medical assistance
- Pascal Smet, Minister for mobility and public works
- Céline Fremault, Minister in charge of housing, quality of life, environment and energy
- Bianca Debaets, Secretary of State for development cooperation (delegated to the Minister Guy Vanhengel); security, regional and municipal computers, digital transition, equal opportunities and animal welfare (powers delegated by the Minister Pascal Smet)
- Cécile Jodogne, Secretary of State for foreign trade and the fight against fire and emergency medical aid (delegated powers by the Minister Didier Gosuin)
- Fadila Laanan, Secretary of State for the collection and treatment of waste, scientific research, community sports facilities and the public sector (competences delegated by the Minister-President Rudi Vervoort)
- Charles Piqué will chair the Brussels Parliament