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2005 OECD Economic Surveys: Belgium 2005

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Belgium 2005
This survey of Belgium's economy takes a comprehensive look at the country's most pressing economic problem: population ageing.  After looking at the economic and budget consequences of ageing, the report examines a number of responses including putting public finances on a sustainable path, constraining health expenditure growth, increasing the employment rate, enhancing the economic impact of migration, raising achievement in secondary education, and increasing productivity growth.

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The Policy Challenge

Preparing for Population Ageing

The fundamental challenge in Belgium is coping with population ageing. It will reduce economic growth and put pressure on public finances. The chapter outlines a strategy to minimise the economic costs of population ageing. First, budget consolidation should be implemented to put public finances on a sustainable path. Second, labour-market and social-security reforms are needed to make working more attractive for groups with low employment rates – older workers, younger workers and ethnic minorities – and to make employment of these groups more profitable. Third, the tax burden on labour income should be reduced to slow the...

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