Thursday, 6 March 2014 - 09:19
Budget cuts to 75% of municipalities
Around three-quarters of Dutch municipalities think they might have to make budget cuts over the next year. This, from survey of the NOS which was filled in by 234 municipalities. Wednesday, during a radio debate, it was also made clear that municipality funds are a hot topic during these election times. According to the NOS, almost 38 percent of Dutch municipalities claim to be having financial problems, due to government tasks being delegated to municipalities. They do get extra budget for these tasks, but it is not sufficient. The shortage must then be compensated for by introducing budget cuts, or by increasing citizen taxes. The councils don't have a clear solution yet. Many municipalities await the formation of a new council after the elections before making any plans. Cuts that are being proposed vary per municipality. From saving on road construction and decreasing subsidies to shutting down a music school and cuts to security and the fire department. Many municipalities also want to introduce cuts their own organization. Councils also think heightening the tax for estates and sewer levees, or to ask more tourist tax. Although many municipalities are in favor of austerity measures, more than half of the municipalities insist that their financial positions are solid. 12 percent call the financial situation worrisome. Three municipalities (Neunen, Lansingerland and Ten Boer) are even talking about a "very worrisome" situation.