brussels - Flanders cancels the tax on finicky singing competitions from next year. With the so-called finches, finches with a blinded cage stand alongside the road and for an hour they count the number of songs their bird sings with a chalk on a wooden stick. Bystanders can take out bets. The owner of the finch who sang the most songs is the winner.
Fitching is an age-old tradition that also occurs in the Netherlands. Finches were kept as decoys to catch birds of prey. Singing contests were held in the sixteenth century. In the past they were blinded, so that they are not distracted. Nowadays, finches often teach their birds songs by playing music. The song has to end on 'suskewiet', also called finch.
The Flemish government also removes the tax on table football, billiards, pinball machines and jukeboxes. The tax on such playground equipment and games of skill is unnecessary and costs more than it yields, according to Minister Bart Tommelein (Finance and Budget).
The tax on slots will increase, from 3570 euros to 4000 euros, because gambling addiction costs the government a lot of money.