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Working Paper 04-11 - Liaison au bien-être des prestations sociales et des allocations d’assistance

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Abstract

One of the main sections in the current draft of the 2011-2012 Interprofessional Agreement concerns the welfare adjustment of social benefits. This draft results from a long process and fits in with the law concerning the Solidarity Pact between the Generations, which established a structural mechanism at the end of 2005, linking social benefits to welfare evolution. This working paper ‘Welfare adjustment of social benefits' describes the first stage of that process: estimating the disposable financial means for the welfare adjustment of social benefits for the period 2011-2012, to which the Federal Planning Bureau contributed. In the employees scheme these means amount to 233.8 million in 2011 and to 497.9 million in 2012, of which the draft of the Interprofessional Agreement proposes to utilize merely 60%. Furthermore, this paper offers an overview of Belgian social policy by portraying its main turning points on the one hand and analysing the evolution of the average amounts of the main social benefits since 1980 on the other. The outcome is marked with contrast: over the period 1980-2009 the relative standard of living globally improved for pensioners, as opposed to the unemployed and the disabled.

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