This Wednesday morning, the state budget for the coming year will be presented in Parliament. It is undoubtedly a very special budget. A budget that is clearly a sign of the many crises we are going through at the moment. A budget that is also marked by the many challenges we face as a society.
That is why it is particularly important to me as a budget rapporteur that we as a country do not continue to drift apart and that the grievances in society do not deepen. We must ensure that solidarity is not just an empty word, but that peaceful coexistence is constantly promoted in Luxembourg. We must secure social peace and social cohesion, and ensure that it is not only possible to live well in this country, but that we also live together better.
We can only tackle the many challenges together.
Hence, I want to focus on exactly this topic in my budget report: Living better together.
But what exactly does that mean?
The two years of the pandemic, which is still not completely over, have left a mark. Many households and businesses feel the economic damage, but the mental health of many has also suffered. Many people were confined to their homes and physically and socially isolated.
Now we’ve got the war in Ukraine, an energy crisis, and prices getting out of hand. Be it for the supply of energy, costs of materials, or even food. Add to that the housing problem and climate change.
We must prevent all these crises from becoming a social crisis.
‘Living better together’ thus stands for living together in solidarity, more socially equitable, more committed, and more inclusive. It means that everyone, whether young or old, male or female, Luxembourgish or non-Luxembourgish, with or without a disability, has their place in our society and should be able to participate in social life.
In addition, it is also important to further strengthen volunteering. After all, it is the collective commitment of many people that keeps our towns, our associations, and our social cohesion alive.
A better coexistence also means making our society more sustainable. We must make our villages and cities more resilient, and take advantage of the opportunity to improve the quality of life. Local circuits, more greenery, and a clean and healthy environment are key in this context.
At the same time, no one should be left behind in the energy transition, we have to take everyone along. The climate issue must not become a social issue.
After all, a better life together also means better future opportunities.
In Luxembourg, we need an economy whose wheels are turning, that is future-oriented, and that offers people good jobs. We need innovative companies that generate qualitative growth. We have to make our country fit for the future and offer prospects to the young and the less young so that they can live their lives in freedom and prosperity.
We can only achieve this collectively. That is more important than ever. Especially right now.