Water, a luxury product in Flanders?  - Economic policy

Water, a luxury product in Flanders? – Economic policy

Owners of second homes risk seeing their water bill almost double. First step towards a three-tier billing system?

How many are they? At least 212,000, according to the Flemish government’s research department, of which almost half – and this will not surprise anyone – located in the nine coastal municipalities. Another note mentions about 400,000 housing units in which no one is domiciled. Whatever the number, the economic and social council of Flan…

How many are they? At least 212,000, according to the Flemish government’s research department, of which almost half – and this will not surprise anyone – located in the nine coastal municipalities. Another note mentions about 400,000 housing units in which no one is domiciled. Whatever their number, the economic and social council of Flanders (SERV) proposes to abolish for second residences the basic tariff from which they benefit for water, which amounts in practice to doubling the price of this one. this. The current pricing includes, whatever the type of dwelling, two prices per m3. The first, called basic, applies to a volume of 30 m3 per dwelling and per occupant. For a couple with two children, it will be, for example, 150 m3. The second rate, called comfort, is double the previous one and affects everything that is consumed beyond that. Pushing further, the SERV pleads for increased tariff escalation and the introduction of a third tariff dedicated to luxury consumption: washing your car, watering your garden, filling your swimming pool. The Minister of the Environment, Zuhal Demir, would like to see the new revenue thus generated pour into a solidarity fund allowing various social corrections. Such an intention is commendable but requires regular income, which will not really be the case insofar as users will adapt their consumption according to the prices charged. Added to this, since the beginning of the century, is a downward trend in consumption despite, on the one hand, the increase in population and, on the other, the breakdown of family units. Pragmatically, SERV therefore recommends allocating any surpluses that may have been accumulated in concrete applications for the intelligent or circular use of water.

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