Balance of revenue and expenditure 



Flemish Authorities: Department of Finance and Budget, Institute of National Accounts (INA), the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) 

Local authorities of Flanders: Agency for Home Affairs, Institute of National Accounts (INA) and the National Bank of Belgium (NBB). 



Flemish Authorities  

The Flemish Authorities uses the ESA financing balance for the presentation of the balance of revenue and expenditure.  

The ESA financing balance is an important standard for the budget of the EU Member States. ESA is the European standard for national and regional accounts and thereby comparable throughout Europe. ESA is used by the Member States of the European Union and was updated in 2010 (ESA 2010).  

ESA financing balance according to economic regrouping: the difference between ESA revenue and ESA expenditure.  


ESA financing balance (INA): the same as the ESA balance according to economic regrouping, with the exception of: 

  • loans and repayment of debt (ESA 9), 

  • credit provisions and participations (ESA 8), 

  • internal flows: revenue from and expenditure to the institutions to be consolidated. 

The INA method follows the rhythm of the registration and processing of the tax files of the taxpayer persons/households. Consequently, the distribution over the years of the surcharges on personal income tax, which were transferred to the Flemish Authorities after the 6th state reform, is strongly influenced by the registration rhythm.  


ESA financial balance (HCF): a new variant calculated from 2015 onwards, according to the method of the High Council of Finance (HCF method).  

The HCF method does not follow the registration rhythm but is based on a balanced offsetting of advances, pre-financing and sums received. As a result, the surcharges on income tax collected by the Flemish Authorities are more evenly distributed over the years in question. The HCF method consequently leads to a more continuous evolution of the ESA-HCF financial balance.  

Further clarification of the difference between the two methods for the calculation of the ESA financing balance can be obtained from the VSA contact point.  

Two methodological changes were made for the Flemish Authorities: 

  • The systems of green electricity certificates are included in the public accounts as tax subsidy systems. 

  • Capitalised R&D investments are broken down by community and region. This results in a strong increase in investments by the Flemish Community. 


Local authorities of Flanders 

For their day-to-day financial policy, local authorities use the budgetary result as a yardstick. The budgetary result is the difference between total revenue (operating revenue, investment revenue and financing revenue) and total expenditure (operating expenditure, investment expenditure and financing expenditure) for the financial year. The balance of the previous financial years is not taken into account. 
The figures come from the annual accounts of the local authorities. This mainly concerns adopted annual accounts that have been discussed by the municipal council and the CPAS council. In addition, there are also provisional, non-adopted annual accounts to a limited extent. The annual accounts are only final after approval by the governor or the minister.
The amounts refer to the realized transactions, not to the estimated figures from the budget and its revisions.

For the purpose of comparison with other authorities, the INA also calculates the ESA financing balance  for the local authorities. The ESA financing balance is equal to the budgetary result, with the exclusion of: 

  • new loans or leasings, 

  • the repayment of loan and leasing debts, 

  • the purchase and sale of financial fixed assets. 

Furthermore, the moment at which the local surcharges on income tax or property tax are registered in the ESA differs from that in the municipal accounts, which influences the ESA financing balance.  


The following local authorities are included in the figures: 

  • Municipalities 

  • Districts of the City of Antwerp 

  • Autonomous municipal companies  

  • Public Centres for social welfare (PCSW); 

  • PCSW associations 

  • Provincial authorities 

  • Autonomous provincial companies  

The other local authorities, such as police districts and assistance zones, are not included in the figures. 


Number of inhabitants  

For the calculation of the budgetary result per inhabitant of the Flemish municipalities, the number of inhabitants on January 1st of the year in question is used as the denominator.  

In the case of both the Flemish government and the local authorities, this always concerns amounts in current prices. These are prices for the year in question, not adjusted for inflation.


Remarks on quality 

The Department of Finance and Budget, the Agency for Home Affairs , the Institute of National Accounts and the National Bank of Belgium provide reliable data on the financial transactions of the Flemish Authorities.  

For the local authorities, figures are used from the administrationsthat  have already reported their annual accounts to the Agency for Home Affairs at the time of compiling the statistics.  



Department of Finance and Budget: Website - ESA Financial Balance 

Agency for Home Affairs: BBC - data and analyses 

Institute of National Accounts (INA): Website 

National Bank of Belgium (NBB): Database Public Finances