01 Nov '14

Municipal cutbacks keenly felt

door Bart Claes
Fewer staff, less investment, extra taxes. The municipal authorities in the Flemish Rand are having to take steps to keep their finances on an even keel. Under the so-called policy and management cycle, the municipalities are required to establish a multiannual planning perspective for the period up

So a draconian consolidation process is in store for many municipalities. Their burden is being made worse by soaring pension costs, fire-fighting bills and the economic crisis. ‘Saving is very much the golden rule, says Willy Kerremans (N-VA), Meise's Alderperson for Finance. 'We are counting on gaining further revenue as a result of selling off assets but the top priority is to make savings: 10% in 2014. Some services will have to make do with fewer people.’ Jan Leroy from the Flemish Association for Cities and Municipalities (VVSG) claims the impact of scaling back investments is twofold. ‘Essential upgrades are postponed and the economy has to suffer. Staff cutbacks automatically affect services.’ (RK, nov 2014)

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