Simon Watteyne (ULB) – Raising taxes in Belgium. A history of political battles (1830-1962)
Simon Watteyne (FNRS postdoctorate reseacher in history at ULB)
Raising taxes in Belgium. A history of political battles (1830-1962)
ROOM : P02
Raising of taxes is an essential act of sovereignty. The creation, increase, reduction or abolition of taxes and the allocation of the resources needed to collect them… These decisions reflect the main orientations of the government in power and allow it to define its fundamental political choices. They also affect the distribution of wealth and inequalities.
In his new book, Simon Watteyne presents a clear and precise account of the debates that have taken place on this subject from the time of Belgium’s independence until the current system was put in place. From the 19th century, Belgium was characterized by low taxation, which made it increasingly attractive to foreign wealth. In the following century, the country developed into a welfare state, characterized by a steady increase in the tax burden on labour income and the predominance of an attractive tax system for capital income. Watteyne’s study calls for a genuinely political reading of the history of taxation and, conversely, for the inclusion of the fiscal dimension in political analysis.