commission on fiscal imbalance 合集

The special act did not define the criteria in detail

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Unformatted text preview: rganizes the “bridging loan.” Six property companies, i.e. the SPABS (Sociétés publiques d’administration des bâtiments scolaires), specially created for that purpose became the owners of most of the school buildings in the French-speaking community, in exchange for payment to the community of 40.6 billion BEF. The SPABS borrowed this amount, called the bridging loan, from various financial institutions. This ingenious procedure was devised in order to circumvent the standard of the Conseil Supérieur des Finances governing borrowings that applies to all federated entities. However, it was understood that the SPABS could not meet their commitments since they do not dispose of their own resources. In practice, the Walloon region, Cocof and the French-speaking community offered a joint and indivisible guarantee in respect of the borrowings contracted by the property companies. It was decided from the outset that only regional guarantees, i.e. the Walloon region and Cocof, would be implemented.20 It was thus a question, in the guise of a complex mechanism, of carrying out an off-budget operation that made it possible to allocate to the Frenchspeaking community 40.6 billion BEF financed by Cocof and the Walloon region. Section 7 of Decree II21 organizes procedures governing the payment of budgetary resources pertaining to the other fields of jurisdiction,22 responsibility for which was transferred by the French-speaking community to the Walloon region and Cocof. Since one of the key objectives of the Saint-Quentin agreement was to provide the French-speaking community with financial assistance, it was decided that the financial transfer would be less than the inherent cost of the fields of jurisdiction transferred. The mechanism for determining this transfer represents lasting aid to the community insofar as the community releases each year less funds than are necessary to cover the additional expenditures of the Walloon region and Cocof. For example, the fields of jurisdiction in question represented prior to the transfer a total of 21 billion BEF in the community budget in 1993, while the transfer paid to the Walloon region and Cocof by the community in 1994 reached only 15.37 billion BEF. 2.1.3. The Saint-Éloi agreement in 1999 The special financing act as formulated in 1989 stipulated that, starting in 1999, the breakdown of the VAT transfer between the communities would be carried out by means of new objective criteria. The special act did not define the criteria in detail, which led to various interpretations. It was only in May 2000 that the new act establishing the criterion to be introduced was finally enacted. An initial proposal concerning the criterion should have given the French-speaking community an additional 2.4 billion BEF and withdrawn the same amount from the Flemish community, since the same budget allowance was involved. The Flemish rejected the proposal since they refused to accept a reduction in their transfer. The act of May 23, 2000 stipulates that the number of students to be considered is the number of students between 6 and 17 years of age regularly enrolled in elementary and secondary schools, including reduced-day schools, in an...
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