Thursday May 2nd

WHAT’S NEW FOR MAY

As at the start of every month, a number of changes have been made to rules and regulations that govern our daily lives. Here’s what’s new for May.

The price of service cheques (cheques that can be used to pay for services such as domestic cleaning) went up to 8.5 euro at the end last year, cheques for the old 7.5 euro rate are no longer valid.

From now on, the Belgian motor cycle licenses will be replaced by a new European motor cycle licence. The new licences brings with it a new system for motor cyclists. In future those wishing to obtain a licence to drive the highest calibre motorcycles will have to do so in stages.

Brussels taxis more expensive, the price that you will pay for a trip in a taxi in the capital has gone up by 14 cents to 1.8 euro per kilometre.

Pensioners in Brussels are no longer entitled to a free season ticket for the services of the Brussels public transport company MIVB.

All but the poorest pensioners will have to pay 60 euro for an annual season ticket that will allow them to use the company’s bus, tram and metro services.

ANTWERP DOCTOR WORKED UNREGISTERED IN UK

A doctor from Antwerp who was employed by an English hospital despite not being registered has been told he cannot work in the UK.

Dr Johannes Peperkamp was a locum neurologist at the King’s Mill Hospital near Nottingham for a month in 2012, despite having being taken off the register for not paying fees.

NEW MOLE RAT DISCOVERED

A biologist from Ghent University in East Flanders has discovered a new species of mole rat while out on a field trip to Southern Congo and Northwest Zambia.

The new discovery has been given a Latin name that is a tribute to the Belgian scientist Caroline Van De Woestijne who died from malaria in Zambia.

LABOUR DAY SPEECHES

Yesterday was of course Labour Day, a day on which the achievements of the labour movement are celebrated and issues that affect workers are highlighted.

Leading figures in the Socialist Party and Socialist Trades Union made speeches to mark Labour Day.

The leader of the Flemish Socialist Party Bruno Tobback said in a speech that revenue generated from tackling fiscal fraud should be used to reduce taxation on labour.

Meanewhile, Federal Employment Minister Monica De Coninck criticised the “German model” where “one in five of those in work can’t pay their bills because their pay is low.”

SABAM SUE ISPs

Sabam, the Belgian association of authors, composers and publishers, has sued the country’s three biggest ISPs, saying that they should be paying copyright levies for offering access to copyright protected materials online.

They want the court to rule that Internet access providers Belgacom, Telenet and Voo should pay 3.4 percent of their turnover in copyright fees, because they profit from offering high speed Internet connections that give users easy access to copyright protected materials.

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