Belgium: Industrial launderers protested recently against proposed tax changes they fear will “take the shirts off their backs”.

The Federal Government is introducing a 5% reduction in corporation tax, but at the same time it will stop authorising the reduction of environment taxes paid to the regions.

However, launderers pay high sums to the regions for cleaning their waste water, and the Belgian Textile Care Federation has estimated, based on a sample of 30 laundries, that the net result will be that launderers will suffer a 24% increase in their tax bill.

The launderers took to the streets in protest, dressed for the occasion in bright white shirts and black ties.

Cinet, the international committee for textile care and umbrella organisation for the trade associations, made sure the event got media attention both through its press contacts and by putting the story on its website.

A delegation of launderers met the president of the Flemish region and the federal minister of finance. Willy Dierckx, of the Flemish Textile Care Federation told LCN that at the end of May there had been no official response.