Secretary of State is mistaken if he thinks that labour costs are not too high

2 March 2012

The N-VA is shocked to hear the Secretary of State for Combating Social and Fiscal Fraud say that the high cost of labour resulting from the gap that exists between gross and net remuneration in our country is not a problem. The high cost of labour is not much of an issue for highly capital-intensive companies, of course, but the highly labour-intensive companies have already left. This is precisely why our macroeconomic productivity is so high. The Alert Mechanism Report issued by the European Commission on 14 February revealed that one of the biggest problems in our country is the drop in our export market share. Our high rate of taxation is partially responsible for this, but our high labour costs also play a role. Companies actually do take this into account, and that is the reason why we are losing our export market share as companies are choosing to relocate elsewhere. The N-VA believes that we must as a matter of urgency divert our taxes away from labour and find other sources of taxation instead. It is high time to actually have this debate. We must have the courage to make the switch from taxing labour costs to, for example, increasing taxes on consumption.

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