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Four years of N-VA in the federal government
Four years ago, five members of the N-VA took the oath as either a Minister or a Secretary of State in the federal government. The four years since then have been action-packed, with challenge following challenge. Yet Jan Jambon, Johan Van Overtveldt, Steven Vandeput, Zuhal Demir and Theo Francken have succeeded in making their visible mark on federal policy and in helping to shape the power of Change.
Thanks to the Minister of Security and the Interior, Jan Jambon, there is once again a true safety culture after years of laissez-faire policy. He has committed himself resolutely to fighting crime, terrorism and human trafficking. For example, Minister Jambon co-founded BE-Alert, invested in the Special Units, rolled out the successful Canal Plan and, together with Theo Francken, developed a nine-point plan against human trafficking. Minister Jambon also drew up a long-term policy that is intended to let us meet the challenges of the future, such as the cyber threat and cybercrime.
Working is once again rewarded
As the Minister of Finance and the Combating of Fiscal Fraud, Johan Van Overtveldt instigated a historical tax reduction, the. Thanks to that tax shift, our net wages and therefore our purchasing power increased. A person earning minimum wage will enjoy an extra thirteenth month by the end of this parliamentary term, and work is finally being rewarded once again. In addition, Minister Van Overtveldt reformed corporate tax, giving our SMEs the necessary oxygen to continue to do business and create jobs. In the fight against fraud, targeted measures were taken to tackle fraud better and more efficiently.
Defence given room to invest
Minister of Defence in charge of the Civil Service, Steven Vandeput, modernised the status of civil servants. He also got rid of the restrictions on temporary work in the federal public services and set up an internal audit service for the federal government. He also ensured that the legally required functional bilingualism among federal civil servants is no longer seen as optional. As the Minister of Defence, Steven Vandeput set out the future of our army with the Strategic Vision for Defence until 2030. Defence is finally being given the room to invest again, including in the increasingly important cyber division.
Protecting vulnerable people
Zuhal Demir, as Secretary of State for Equal Opportunities, also devoted herself to protection, namely the protection of vulnerable people in our society. She developed a plan to protect less well-off fellow citizens from creditors, ensured that single parents have a lower financial burden and gave people with a disability a higher disability benefit and a higher living wage. She also opened three new care centres for Sexual Violence, ushered labour law into the 21st century with Manageable and Feasible Work and gave low-skilled young people a boost with the introduction of starter jobs.
Strict but fair migration policy
Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration and Administrative Simplification Theo Francken has implemented a strict but fair migration policy. The policy is gentle on those who need help but tough on those who abuse it. Proof of the former can be seen in the humanitarian visas granted to Chechen LGBT refugees. Minister Francken tightened up the asylum procedure and the rules on family reunification, introduced foreigners’ fees for issuing residence permits and set the tone for a robust European border policy. Above all, he applied himself as no other before him to the task of repatriating criminal foreigners thanks to the stricter immigration law. Just recently, the 6,000th criminal foreigner was repatriated to his homeland. He also introduced the “permis unique” and the newcomer’s statement.
Together with Minister Jan Jambon, Minister Francken is shaping the implementation of the nine-point plan against illegal transmigration and human trafficking. It’s a policy of real deeds, not mere words. As the Secretary of State for Administrative Simplification, Theo Francken launched a plan containing no fewer than 120 measures to help reduce administrative red tape for SMEs.