Belgium continues to drop down ‘highest salaries in Europe’ list Belgium continues to drop down ‘highest salaries in Europe’ list

Belgium continues to drop down ‘highest salaries in Europe’ list
26 Jan 2018

Belgium's income tax changes have resulted in the country dropping one place on the list of most expensive European nations for employers to be located.

Deloitte's latest study of salaries shows that the country has moved from second to fifth place in two years - it was in fourth place last year.

According to The Brussels Times, social security costs have now dropped to an average of 30.46% and will continue to fall over the coming years, hitting 25% in 2019, the management consultancy predicts. Thanks to its tax shift, Belgium is now fifth on the table of most expensive countries for salaries of all levels, down from second place in 2015.

Belgian workers receive a lower net salary than some others in Europe because of a high marginal taxation rate - 53.3% - which is applied to salaries as low as €38,830 (US$45,810), Deloitte says. But the recent income tax change was designed to enable low earners to keep a larger proportion of their gross salary.

The study shows however that, while this may have been the case, the impact of the move has been less than might have been expected in making the country a cheaper location in which to operate: it dropped only one place for the lowest and middle range salary brackets of around €25,000 (US$29,491) and €50,000 (US$58,983) respectively.

In terms of disposible income, Belgian employees are worse off than those in Luxembourg and Germany, but better off than those in France or the Netherlands.

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

Belgium's income tax changes have resulted in the country dropping one place on the list of most expensive European nations for employers to be located.

Deloitte's latest study of salaries shows that the country has moved from second to fifth place in two years - it was in fourth place last year.

According to The Brussels Times, social security costs have now dropped to an average of 30.46% and will continue to fall over the coming years, hitting 25% in 2019, the management consultancy predicts. Thanks to its tax shift, Belgium is now fifth on the table of most expensive countries for salaries of all levels, down from second place in 2015.

Belgian workers receive a lower net salary than some others in Europe because of a high marginal taxation rate - 53.3% - which is applied to salaries as low as €38,830 (US$45,810), Deloitte says. But the recent income tax change was designed to enable low earners to keep a larger proportion of their gross salary.

The study shows however that, while this may have been the case, the impact of the move has been less than might have been expected in making the country a cheaper location in which to operate: it dropped only one place for the lowest and middle range salary brackets of around €25,000 (US$29,491) and €50,000 (US$58,983) respectively.

In terms of disposible income, Belgian employees are worse off than those in Luxembourg and Germany, but better off than those in France or the Netherlands.

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

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