The opposition in the Brussels Parliament gives the policy statement that Prime Minister Rudi Vervoort made in the Brussels Parliament on Friday an insufficient. The ambition is lacking, it sounded. This became apparent during the debate on the statement on Saturday. “This is managed decline.”
Alexia Bertrand (MR) pointed out that the announced recovery plan is not a real recovery plan, while Gilles Verstraeten (N-VA) talked about a “palliative statement. This is managed decline ”.
N-VA party leader Cieltje Van Achter congratulated Prime Minister Vervoort that “at last, after 15 months after the start of your government, he has been able to finalize a budget and multi-year budget”. But she regretted that no budgetary framework was provided. “You juggled millions in your statement yesterday, but that doesn’t mean anything if we don’t get the overview. Millions in expenditures, you said nothing about savings – except that you didn’t think any possible. Your budget minister nevertheless says that savings are being made ”. That is why she presented Vervoort with a long list of questions, including the rollout of 5G, the savings, the announced purchase of the slaughterhouses and the smart kilometer charge.
Ambition is lacking
Her group colleague Gilles Verstraeten was surprised by Vervoort’s description that food aid is a “palliative measure”, and pointed out that the poverty risk lies mainly with those who do not have a job. For Verstraeten, the Brussels government lacks ambition and strategy when it comes to training. He also had questions about the Phoenix grant to support the recruitment of Brussels jobseekers. “The employers don’t want a subsidy, they want skilled workers,” he said. “This policy statement is a palliative statement. This is managed decline, the slow death of Brussels ”, Verstraeten concluded.
“No recovery plan”
MR party leader Alexia Bertrand concluded that the recovery plan of the Brussels government is not a recovery plan. “This is not a recovery plan, nor an investment strategy. This is a catalog of measures from the coalition agreement, of measures that have been promised for 15 years. You are right to point out the problems of poverty, homelessness, mental health and the right to food. It is not a recovery to maintain the essential and usual activities of the hospitals and at the same time have a capacity to absorb COVID-19 ”.
According to her, the region needs productive investments, investments in tunnels are not. “It is not irresponsible to incur debt, but it is to incur debt without recovery,” said Bertrand. “In Brussels we have to wait for the recovery, while the other regions are already busy”.
Green party leader Arnaud Verstraete criticized some in the opposition who “put the party interests before the public interest”. They believe that Brussels should take and enforce stricter measures, while a mayor sits on a bench and declares that he will not enforce the measure that has just been taken, or a prime minister says when leaving a meeting that the catering industry should not while that was just decided in that meeting.
For Dominiek Lootens (Vlaams Belang), the 64 million announced by the government for tracing, testing and preventive medicine are needed, but the measures show that the Brussels government has not done its job in the past. According to him, the corona crisis is being used to cover structural problems.
Vague about investments in public transport
PTB party leader Françoise De Smedt criticized the lack of a concrete budget for health care, while the policy statement does contain concrete figures on loans to companies. She warned that the announced kilometer charge will increase inequality. The government also remains vague about investments in public transport. For the PTB, the Brussels Region is facing a social tidal wave. But there is no guarantee that the government will keep the people afloat. “It is not with small patches that a bleeding stop,” says De Smedt.