Belgium eases business cost with $7.7B tax shift

Offset will come from taxes on energy, alcohol and tobacco.

BRUSSELS — The centre-right government of Prime Minister Charles Michel has pushed through a tax shift to lighten the cost of labour for businesses and offset it with taxes on energy, alcohol and tobacco.

The Michel government said it would balance the budget by 2018. The deficit stood at 3.2% last year.

To offset the 7 billion euros ($7.7 billion) decrease in labour costs for businesses, the government will increase taxation on products, which are a burden on health or the environment. At the same time, the government plans to make it more costly to go on early retirement and levy a tax on short-term share sales.

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