Les dépenses communautaires et régionales : instrument de développement économique et social ?
This article attempts to analyse fiscal policies of the Belgian Regions and Communities in the last regional legislature, drawing attention to their scope for action, their priorities in the provision of public goods and the policy evaluation. In Belgium, Regions and Communities have a high fiscal and political autonomy, or “spending power”, so that they can apply their own reforms. On the last legislature, evolution of their revenue allowed to increase their expenditure more than the real trend growth, even by performing the States fiscal targets on the period 2005-2008. Public expenditures particularly increased in the Flemish Community and the Brussels Region. However, through equalisation mechanisms (National solidarity intervention), public expenditures per capita are distributed more equally than the income, and even in favour of poorer regions. Belgian Regions and Communities also make differential choices in the allocation of public goods. According to a comparison of the States budgets, Flemish States give greater place to education, health and social protection. Although some signs of convergence appeared during the period 2004 and 2008, the French-speaking States and the Brussels Region still spend more in economic affairs, employment and professional training. The long-lasting interregional economic disparities challenge the effectiveness of such expenditures. Therefore, policy and performance evaluation appear as a decisive stage to promote efficiency and effectiveness of public expenditures. In this area, the monitoring of the Marshall Plan is rather a promising initiative. JEL Codes – H70, H72, H73, H75
Volume (Year): XLVIII (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
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