Environmentalists want to stop a system that many analysts consider counterproductive. But the advantage this represents for the workers must be preserved, retort the liberals.
This is the new showdown that is being played out within Vivaldi. Ecolo wants a commitment to abolish the company car system from 2026. The MR recalls that this does not appear in the government agreement, that the decision has already been taken to green the car fleet and that such a suppression requires, if necessary, that one fills the enormous shortfall for the employees.
This is the new showdown that is being played out within Vivaldi. Ecolo wants a commitment to abolish the company car system from 2026. The MR recalls that this does not appear in the government agreement, that the decision has already been taken to green the car fleet and that such a suppression requires, if necessary, that one fills the enormous shortfall for the employees. Read also| Abolish company cars in Belgium: the Ecolo – MR match has begun “If we are coming back with this now, it is because there are two new elements indicating that the time has come, underlines Gilles Vanden Burre, group leader Ecolo in the Chamber On the one hand, the recent report of the National Bank calls into question the system of car wages which concern 15% of workers, a minority for which everyone pays, and costs more than 2 billion euros per year, not to mention the fuel card which is a golden advantage with the current cost of gasoline. On the other hand, the positions of the Socialists and the Liberals seem to have evolved. We feel that this system has become indefensible. International organisations, such as the IMF or the OECD, often refer to the anachronistic nature of an advantage that pollutes and bottlenecks. Ecolo proposes to phase this development: “From 2026, we will gradually eliminate them, specifies Gilles Vanden Burre. I am of course talking about salary cars, not cars that serve as work tools at Proximus or bpost. From 2026, we would let the current leasings end. And we could compensate for this with a mobility budget and another part in euros.” “Let’s already start by seeing how we can materialize the agreement which was concluded to transform the fleet of company cars, retorts Georges-Louis Bouchez, president of the MR. To achieve zero emissions, we must switch massively to electricity or hydrogen. That is our priority, not discussing a new reform.” If necessary, the MR claims compensation for the workers concerned, for an amount of 500 to 1,000 euros. In cash. “It is not only a question of compensating those who are currently in the system, but also those who could benefit from it in the future, adds the president of the MR. With a progressive extinction system such as the Ecolo advocate, this means that hundreds of thousands of workers will lose purchasing power. I am talking about a structural reduction in social security contributions for the people concerned. You have to give back cash, and at a significant level because we are talking about the car, but also the petrol card which is an important advantage in this period of full fill-ups at 100 euros.” This could be done through tax reform. But compensating such amounts for a minority seems impossible. Impassable ground, match postponed?