The cleaning assistance sector has been facing financial difficulties for several years, with little to no profit being made by companies and low wages for cleaners. In response, Minister of Labor Jo Brouns (CD&V) has proposed increasing the price of service vouchers and eliminating the tax deduction in order to use the proceeds to raise the wages of cleaning assistants. This proposal has arisen in response to actions taken in the cleaning assistance sector, where unions and staff were dissatisfied with the termination of the collective labor agreement by service voucher companies at the end of the previous year.
Minister Brouns previously advocated for more expensive service vouchers during budget discussions in September of last year. He has also called for the scrapping of the 200 million euro tax deduction currently in place for the service voucher system, with the ultimate goal of strengthening the purchasing power of household helpers. The price of a service voucher has remained at 9 euros without any adjustment or indexing for ten years. Additionally, families using the vouchers must contribute an extra 1.8 euros per check in tax, effectively making the check cost 7.2 euros per hour.
Wilfried Vandaele, N-VA faction leader, has acknowledged that the service voucher system is in need of adjustments in order to be sustainable, adding that the next Flemish government will need to review and potentially revise