Lifetime salary for senior Brussels civil servants: the opposition reacts

Lifetime salary for senior Brussels civil servants: the opposition reacts

Senior civil servants in Brussels are now guaranteed to keep their salary for life after ten years in office. A tailor-made position has also been created for this purpose. This raises many questions within political parties.

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LThe Brussels opposition has very little, if any, taste for the recent decision of the Brussels government concerning two senior officials of the regional administration guaranteed to benefit from their remuneration for life, upon leaving their respective functions, according to the comments collected on Thursday morning about it.

The daily The evening revealed in its Thursday edition that senior Brussels civil servants are now guaranteed to keep their salary for life after ten years in office. A tailor-made position has just been created to justify these emoluments concerning one of the first two to benefit from this measure.


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The case is uncomfortable for the Vervoort government: a 2014 decree specifies that the remuneration of senior Brussels officials, at least 120,000 euros per year, is maintained until retirement after 10 years of service.

The current Brussels government has therefore decided to make Peter Michiels, former head of Brussels Economy and Employment, the new Ukraine coordinator in Brussels. For Arlette Verkruyssen, former director of Brussels Urban Development, and then of Brussels Housing, the Brussels executive has created, on an exceptional basis, the post of director and head of service for the pillar of Brussels Synergie managing the directorates “having a role of regional coordination. Minister Sven Gatz, still according to Le Soir, intends to reform the system.

A questionable system

For the leader of the MR group in the Brussels parliament, David Leisterh (MR), the sequence is symptomatic of all that is wrong with the functioning of the administration at the present time: no transparency on the statutes and the advantages perceived in margin of taking office; airdrops of people to positions for which there is no qualification.

The MR calls for the immediate cessation of this regime and, without clear explanations, the cancellation of the two “parachutings” in progress. There are also questions to be asked about other benefits perceived by senior officials and ‘hidden airdrops’.

For her part, Françoise De Smedt (PTB) considers this “expensive, absurd and indecent system”. ‘No worker in our country is entitled to a salary for life let alone 120,000 euros per year. If the senior civil servant does not find a job after his term of office, we are in favor of him or her falling back on the unemployment benefit system like any worker who has a fixed-term contract which stops”, she added.

“The system currently in place does not meet the criteria of good governance that we defend. There is therefore a risk that the gap between citizens and politicians will widen further. It is therefore necessary to harmonize the statutes and avoid giving some incomprehensible advantages”, commented for her part Céline Fremault (Les Engagés), pleading for an “ambitious, readable and fair” reform.



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