Corona crisis making council cagey with its cash

Photo credit: Studio040

The Eindhoven Municipality is cautious about spending the money it still has. That’s due the current uncertain time the city’s experiencing, due to the corona crisis.

The council has about €22 million in reserves. “We’re in good shape, but it’s not the right time to dip into these,” says Councillor Stijn Steenbakkers, cautiously. That was during a council budget meeting on Tuesday evening.

This Municipality’s reserves are €12 million more than previously agreed upon. One of the local political parties, D66 proposed using this excess. They, and two other parties, Ouderen Appél and DENK,  submitted a motion on this subject.

It also called for local taxes to be reduced and for the money to be used to get people on welfare re-employed.

Uncertain times

Steenbakkers was very opposed to the motion. “We may have some financial room for manoeuvre. But this is a one-off windfall and not something we can count on every year.”

“We’re in the middle of the second COVID-19 wave. We don’t yet know exactly what the consequences will be. Nor do we know whether the central government can come up with extra money,” he said.

The councillor was also opposed to reducing local taxes to give the money back to the city’s inhabitants. “This is a one-off, but we need local taxes for the next few years.” The municipal council rejected the motion.

Housing costs up

Housing costs in the Municipality of Eindhoven will rise to €756. That’s by an average of €34 per inhabitant per year. “That’s a 4.7% increase. It means these costs remain exactly at the average level of the 40 largest municipalities in the Netherlands. And the agreement we made within our coalition,” Steenbakkers said.

The municipal council passed the budget as a whole.

Source: Studio040

Translator: Bob

Editor: Melinda Walraven

 

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