The Return of the Deficit
Public Finance in Belgium over 2000-2010
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Leuven University Press
Title Page, Copyright
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In the 1990s, Belgium’s public finances were dominated by rigorous consolidation which reduced the budget deficits of all government entities from more than 8% of GDP in 1992 to virtual balance in 2000. 1998-2001 period. This was necessary so that, in the ensuing 15 years or so, the public debt could be reduced to the 60% target under the ...
Introduction: Belgium on the Eve of the Sovereign Debt Crisis
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The decade from 2000 to 2010 in Belgium is characterised by a sharp deterioration in the most popular performance indicator in the field of public finance, i.e. the overall fiscal balance, which went from balance to a 4% deficit. But there is no such thing as a key performance indicator (KPI) when it comes to assessing fiscal policy. The quality of the latter, ...
1. The European Context. Evolving Governance in the EU: From the SGP to Hell and Back?
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On 1 January 1999, at the start of the so-called Stage Three of the historic step of introducing a new common currency. The creation of the euro was as much a political decision as an economic one: the adop-tion of a common currency was considered to be a logical and neces-sary step in the gradual process towards greater European integration. ...
2. Overview. Main Developments in Public Finances
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The purpose of this chapter is to give a brief overview of the main devel-opments in Belgian public finances during the 2000-2010 period. It does not aim to provide detailed explanations on the subject, but to establish a general context. It is based on the statistics presented in the annex, up to date at the end of June 2012. The other chapters in this publication will ...
3. The Fiscal Stance. The Return of the Public Budget Deficit
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The 2000-2010 decade got off to a most auspicious start from a budget-ary point of view. The Belgian public budget deficit had almost disap-peared at the end of the 90s and the economic outlook was optimistic for the coming years, based on the expected dynamics of the “new economy” technological paradigm. In that context, the medium-term ...
4. Tax Revenue and Tax Policy. A Decennium of Tax Cuts
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During the nineties, the tax policy stance was clearly subordinated to the fiscal consolidation strategy of the federal government. “Maastricht” and “3%” were the key word and figure that dominated the decennia (Decoster, Gérard and Valenduc, 2001). On the revenue side, two main reforms contributed to fiscal consolidation: the automatic indexation of ...
5. Approaches to Primary Expenditures
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In this chapter different authors shed light on a particular aspect of gov-ernment expenditure or public governance in general. In one way or another, they all address the theme of government efficiency. The con-tribution by Valérie Schmitz, Bastien Scorneau and Robert Deschamps focuses on the spending differences between regions. Why does a higher ...
6. Social Security. The Active Welfare State: A Stylised Retrospective
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Since the mid-1990s, a vast literature has been published on the need for a ‘new welfare state’, in which three core ideas resonate: new social risks, social investment, and the development of services. Unemployment, old age, ill health, sickness and disability, and the financial burden of rais-ing children were seen as constituting the ‘old’ risks, which had been ...
7. Indebtedness. Interest Payment and Public Debt
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Belgium’s public debt steadily fell from 1993 to 2007. Unfortunately, the financial crisis erupted and led to an increase in the debt-to-GDP ratio from 2008. Nowadays, both academic literature and public debt managers pay attention not only to the public debt level but also to its composition. Actually, a large strand of literature has been devoted ...
8. Fiscal Federalism. The Transition to a New Model of Fiscal Relations
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Federalism in Belgium is an evolving process towards growing decen-tralisation of responsibilities and revenue. For more than 40 years, various institutional reforms have played an essential role in designing revenue and responsibilities of the Regions and the Communities. The last dec-ade has seen the implementation of the Lambermont agreement and ...
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One of I.B.F.P’s (Belgian Institute of Public Finance) main missions is to provide precise analyses of the evolution of public finances. It is on this basis that, since after WWII, it has regularly published books on the decen-nial evolution of budgetary and fiscal policies. We must thank Etienne de Callataÿ to have conducted this monograph, as he had ten years ago, that ...
Annex 1: Presentation of the Belgian Institute of Public Finance
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The Belgian Institute of Public Finance, commonly referred to in Dutch as BIOF, i.e. “Belgisch Instituut voor Openbare Financïen” and in French as IBFP for “Institut belge de finances publiques”, was founded in January 1939 by Max-Léo Gérard (1879-1950) (1). During the first Van Zeeland government (March 1935-May 1936) he played an important ...
Annex 2: Statistical Overview
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TABLE 3: Revenue, expenditure and overall balance of general governmentTABLE 7: Revenue, expenditure and overall balance of federal governmentTABLE 8: Revenue, expenditure and overall balance of social securityTABLE 9: Revenue, expenditure and overall balance of communities and regionsTABLE 10: Revenue, expenditure and overall balance of local government...
Annex 3: List of Contributors
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Page Count: 328
Publication Year: 2013