Third of Dutch municipalities in financial trouble: report
Nearly a third of Dutch municipalities were unable to make a balanced budget for 2021, NRC reports after examining all 336 supervision letters the provinces sent to the municipalities in response to their submitted budgets. 19 municipalities were not examined because they recently merged or are about to do so.
According to the newspaper, 120 municipalities have a deficit this year. 12 were even placed under guardianship by the province because they will not be able to submit a balanced budget until 2024. That is three more municipalities under guardianship than last year.
The money troubles mainly stem from social tasks like youth care and social assistance, which were decentralized to the municipalities in 2015. The coronavirus pandemic only exacerbated these problems in the past year.
Many of the 216 municipalities not in acute financial trouble also have to implement major cutbacks, increase taxes or draw on reserves this year, according to NRC.