Paul Magnette for the fight against tax fraud rather than looking for savings


“If we start to fight tax fraud seriously, we can find two, three, four billion euros,” he said on the set of the television program De Zevende Dag of the Flemish public channel VRT, in referring to the so-called “Pandora Papers” investigation into the concealment of assets in offshore companies.

The main government ministers resumed their discussions on Sunday at noon on the preparation of the 2022 federal state budget, two days before the general policy statement that Prime Minister Alexander De Croo is due to deliver on Tuesday in the House of Representatives, as the provides for the Constitution on that date.

According to Mr. Magnette, who chairs the most important of the three French-speaking parties in the heptapartite Vivaldi coalition, the main thing is not the number of billions saved during the preparation of the budget, but the way of doing it.

“One, two, three, four billion. How much that is not essential. The question is ‘how do we do it’, ”Magnette told VRT.

“If we engage seriously against tax fraud, we can find two, three or four billion,” added the president of the French-speaking Socialists.

Mr. Magnette suggested going to get the money from big money and multinationals. “Belgian families who invest their money in paradises, there is a lot of money that we can go and get, without making ordinary citizens pay”, he said.

He pointed out that well-known names were on the Pandora Papers list. “It is a scandal if these people do not pay their taxes correctly in Belgium. Otherwise our budget would be in balance ”, underlined the president of the PS.

He also deplored that certain investments planned in the recovery plan are about to be abandoned by the main ministers during the budget conclave, with a reduction to one billion euros instead of the three initially envisaged.

“I find that a bit of a shame,” said Mr. Magnette. “We really need to invest. It’s a ‘one shot’ on the budget. In addition, it costs us practically nothing because the interest rates are very low, ”he said, once again calling himself in favor of investments in railways, in insulation and in construction. renovation of buildings.

These investments must be greater than a billion euros, added the president of the PS, explaining that public investments cost little while being beneficial for the economy and for employment.

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