U.S. News

Belgium Includes Climate Change Measures in 2007 Budget


The Belgian government agreed on fresh budgetary measures to cut pollution and counter climate change, yet kept its overall 2007 target on a surplus of 0.3% of gross domestic product.

The government of Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt plans to have its first surplus after six years of balanced budget and added several environmental measures.

It imposed taxes on the use of disposable shopping bags, foils and cutlery and on the use of carbon dioxide-polluting cars, which should yield 131 million euros ($175 million) in additional income. The government will provide fiscal boosts for people using environmental-friendly energy.

Overall, the 2007 surplus should total 900 million euros ($1.2 billion).