Bringing Belgian Public Finances to a Sustainable Path [E-Book] / Tomasz Koźluk, Alain Jousten and Jens Høj
Koźluk, Tomasz.
Jousten, Alain. / Høj, Jens.
Paris : OECD Publishing, 2012
39 p. ; 21 x 29.7cm.
englisch
10.1787/5k9b7bxqvgvh-en
OECD Economics Department Working Papers ; 954
Economics
Belgium
Full Text
Economic growth is projected to be strengthening from mid-2011 onwards, but will be insufficient to restore the sustainability of public finances. The Belgian strategy to prefund ageing costs by generating fiscal surpluses to bring down public debt was derailed by the global crisis. Restoring the strategy is a priority, especially as spreads on Belgian debt have increased. This will require cuts in public spending, improving efficiency of policies, containing the growth of ageing-related costs and making the tax system more conducive to growth. While past experiences, such as in the 1990s, have shown that successful large consolidations are feasible, the task seems even more difficult this time as potential growth will be muted and interest rates are likely to increase. In this context, a credible fiscal consolidation plan requires the participation of all governments. Its effectiveness can be strengthened by improving the fiscal framework, in particular by introducing multi-year budgets, annual expenditure rules consistent with long-term targets and an enhanced role of an independent fiscal policy watchdog.