Belgium adopts new measures to counter sky-high energy prices


Brussels, Sep 17 : Belgian government has adopted a new package of energy measures to help households and businesses cope with soaring energy prices. Thanks to the new measures, the electricity and gas bills of households will be lowered by 400 euros ($400) in November and December. The deduction will be 135 euros for gas, and 61 euros for electricity bills per month, which will be deducted from the deposit invoices at the end of the year. For households heating with oil, the earlier benefit of 225 euros, introduced on August 31, has been increased to 300 euros, Xinhua news agency reported. The government has laid out a series of measures for businesses and the self-employed. These include allowing companies to defer the payment of social security contributions and tax, introducing temporary "energy" unemployment support, and a moratorium on bankruptcies. All the measures announced on August 31, including a 6-per cent VAT reduction on gas and electricity, the reduction of excise duties on fuel, and the extension of the target group eligible for subsidised "social" tariffs and fuel oil vouchers, will also be effective until the end of March 2023. /IANS


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