Unemployment in Belgium continues to climb
At the end of August, Belgium counted 467,718 unemployed people, 39,501 more than in July and 47,827 more than in August 2008, according to new figures from Onem.
The rise in the number of job seekers has been apparent in all regions: over 21,390 in a month in Flanders, over 11,468 in Wallonia, and over 6,643 in Brussels.
At the end of the month, Wallonia counted a total unemployment rate of 212,891, Flanders counted 176,660 and Brussels had 78,230 people out of a job.
73,602 unemployed people in the country are under-25, with the majority in Wallonia, with 38,525, followed by Flanders with 26,209, then Brussels with 8,868.
Wallonia still counts the highest number of people who have been unemployed for a long period of time, with 104,997 people in this category, which makes up nearly half the number of the total unemployed people in the region
Belgium: "Social Security must tighten its belt as well”
Budget Minister Guy Vanhengel (Flemish liberal) says that the government will not continue to fill the budget deficit in the social security system.
interview with the financial daily De Tijd.
Until now the deficit in the social security system has always been covered for by other tax money. The Budget Minister Guy Vanhengel said that it is now time for this practice to stop.
According to Minister Vanhengel, the Stability Pact, which the government agreed to earlier in the week, will put an end to the automatic replenishment of social security.
It is not yet certain exactly how much the social security system will have to save.
The discussion with the federal government promises to be contentious. The Flemish liberals have always disliked the fact that the social security system swallows up an increasingly large chunk of tax income.
The Francophone socialists do not want to touch health care, unemployment benefits or pensions in the tightening of the budget belt.