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2003 OECD Economic Surveys: Belgium 2003

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Belgium 2003

This 2003 edition of OECD's Economic Survey of Belgium examines recent economic developments, policies and prospects and  includes a special chapter on tax reform.

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Fiscal Policy

Fiscal consolidation is of paramount importance in Belgium. Since its peak less than ten years ago the debt-to-GDP ratio has come down by about 30 percentage points. This has been achieved without a substantial increase in the revenue/GDP ratio but through spending discipline and asset sales (Figure 10). A virtuous process of debt dynamics is underway with the interest charge decreasing year after year allowing for an even quicker debt reduction or for some gradual lowering of the high primary surpluses. The Government’s medium- and long-term strategy consists of using this room for manoeuvre both for the accumulation of budget surpluses, with a view to pre-fund the costs of population ageing, and for tax cuts.

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