The president of the MR estimates that one is not rich with 6,000 euros net per month. And underlines the risk that we take by killing the middle class. “We must rehabilitate the social elevator,” he pleads.
No, we are not rich with a monthly salary of between 3,000 and 6,000 euros net. Yes, we must continue to encourage the purchase of a second home. Georges-Louis Bouchez, the president of the MR, does not hesitate to pose the debate more broadly on the report of the Belgians with the money and on the disastrous political and cultural climate in this regard. He explains it without taboos.
No, we are not rich with a monthly salary of between 3,000 and 6,000 euros net. Yes, we must continue to encourage the purchase of a second home. Georges-Louis Bouchez, the president of the MR, does not hesitate to pose the debate more broadly on the report of the Belgians with the money and on the disastrous political and cultural climate in this regard. He explains it without taboos. TRENDS-TRENDS. You mentioned the fact that we were not rich with 3,000, 4,000, 5,000 or 6,000 euros net. Your remarks followed, in particular, the desire to abolish tax assistance for the purchase of a second residence, whereas this serves as additional income for many. Can I sum it up? GEORGES-LOUIS BOUCHEZ. Exact. There is a problem in Belgium with ambition and with money, and even more so in French-speaking Belgium. The observation is simple: in politics, today we can only talk about people who earn 1,200, 1,300 or 1,400 euros. As if the whole world is living on a low income, which is obviously dead wrong. It is a concern. My point is not to say that making money is an end in itself. But making money isn’t bad either, it’s not suspicious, it’s not guilty. It is also essential to finance the State and social services. We have to put a little rationality back into the debate. My first observation is of a cultural nature: we try to induce the idea according to which it would be virtuous to have little income and problematic to have a lot. And the notion of “a lot”, above all, comes too soon. A state made up of low wages is a state that does not have the means to invest in health, education, research … Concretely, the debate is above all fiscal, isn’t it? tax problem, indeed. Why ? Because today, in Belgium, the median income is 2,300 euros net. And we are even penalized before this threshold: each euro earned beyond 2,150 euros net is taxed at 50%. This cultural conception leads to changes in tax regimes. In recent years, efforts to cut taxes have mainly focused on the lowest incomes. In fact, Belgium is starting to be a small tax haven for low incomes. At 1,200 or 1,300 euros, we hardly pay taxes in this country. So much the better ! I have no problem with that, on the contrary. But the concern is that since the lowest incomes hardly pay taxes and the more we have high incomes, the more we have high tax optimization mechanisms here or abroad, the whole tax burden is ultimately concentrated on the middle class, on people who earn from 1,800 euros to – I said, yes – 6,000 euros net. Are we rich with 6,000 euros net? We may have access to ease. But it all depends on your family conditions: with 4,000 or 5,000 euros and two children, you are not rich. All the people who are in this situation know how fair I speak. It is not because we manage to afford a vacation once a year that we are rich. After thousands of years of progress and economic growth, I also think that it is not bad to have a little ease! We have to stop saying it’s bad. In my opinion, you are rich on one condition: when you can live without worrying about tomorrow and without having to work. There, you have reached the optimum of autonomy and you can be considered rich. But people who have to work to live, even if they are well off, are not rich. So, as part of a major tax reform, an effort will have to be made for the middle classes? Better than that. The next tax reform should ONLY focus on the middle classes, that’s very clear. On those who earn between 1,800 euros and 5,000 or 6,000 euros net. We must also push people to work more, to progress in their careers, to ensure that they are not systematically pigeons in the system. Today, the middle class is too rich to have aid, but too poor to avoid taxes: that is the crux of the problem. What is interesting in this debate is that I have finally dropped the masks of the PTB and the PS. If we consider that with 4,000, 5,000 or 6,000 euros net monthly, we are rich, this means that in the event of new taxes, these people will be targeted. Personally, I am a little fed up with the debates of the left, which are consistent in saying that we have to tax wealth, but without ever giving amounts. This debate shows that those who do not agree with what I want to tax the middle class even more. Finally, beyond the economic issue, the middle class is the engine of democracy. Aristotle said already four centuries before Jesus Christ that there is no city without a middle class. As it is being killed more and more, this middle class tends to turn to populist parties. The consequences can be serious if you don’t react quickly. When we talk about a salary of 6,000 euros net, we do not necessarily take into account the status of self-employed. This is why you also support the need to be able to invest in real estate, as a guarantee for the future … This applies to everyone. There is this logic again that if you have a second home, life is easy for you. But no ! In reality, we must rehabilitate the social elevator and show the middle class that when it works, it can earn money and it can increase its wealth. It is the keystone of the progress of our societies. Some replied that it should not be an ideal: obviously, when you have the money yourself, it’s much easier to tell others that they should be moderated. One of the arguments of those who oppose this support for the purchase of a second home is that it is preferable to help young people to acquire their first home … to access their first home. , whether in Wallonia or Brussels. And recording what is said, Flanders has not removed support, since the rights are now 3%. Second, I remind you that young people have parents. We must stop this cinema: if parents succeed in acquiring a second home thanks to the fruit of their labor, in general, it is to please the game or the child and help her get started in life. We must stop considering that we are all orphans and that heritage will not be passed on from generation to generation. Me, I am amazed by the society in which we live, where stupidity seems to have taken over. Already in the Napoleonic era, we understood that giving birth to a middle class and a petty bourgeoisie with a heritage that would pass from one generation to another was a key to the country’s wealth. We are in a somewhat bizarre society where the relationship to family solidarity has been totally denied. I know there are a lot of different situations, I’m a liberal, so I think you have to empower the individual, but it’s also a reality. If we tell people that they work all their lives without being able to afford housing for their children, quite frankly, some will stop working. Some also say that we should work more on the revaluation of pensions, in particular for the self-employed. Is this another option To revalue pensions, the only option is to converge the statutes. It is done little by little, right? At this level, we can no longer say “little by little”, but “at ants’ pace”. This convergence is the key. We cannot continue in a scheme which costs 42 billion per year, which increases by one billion euros each year and which generates pensions which are doubled for people performing exactly the same function. If you drive your independent bus as your main occupation, you will have a 50% lower pension than the Tec or De Lijn drivers. That does not make sense. There is also the well-known case of two officials sitting at the same desk, who will also have completely different pensions because one is statutory and the other is contractual. University studies responsible that if you own your home, you drastically reduce the risk of falling into poverty or having hardship when you retire. I know that many economists say that owning your home is not necessarily the smartest because with taxes and maintenance costs, you never manage to recover your investment. It’s true. But the fact of being a tenant requires having a constant level of income over a long period and therefore, to have certainty. In a world full of uncertainties, and the Belgians have understood this well, being the owner of a certain security. In the United States, the subprime mortgage crisis gave rise to the known tsunami. The real issue is to ensure that people own their homes while being encouraged to invest the money lying in savings accounts at risk. But today, we say so much badly about stock market investment, we tax securities accounts and secure financial products to such an extent and we vilify both the business world and people with a little savings. think only of one chosen: invest in brick. I ask a stupid question: do we still have the right to earn money? And if we win it, where can we place it? People are being pushed to buy watches, to put their tickets under the mattress and to have things that are not at all economically interesting.