‘Local councils forced to slash spending’

Local councils will be forced to cut services and reduce civil servant numbers because of falling income and rising costs, Ton Jacobs, of local authorities association VNG says in an interview in Monday’s Financieele Dagblad.

The financial squeeze will become acute in 2011, when the government starts taking action to get its finances in order, Jacobs says.
He estimates councils are likely to lose €1bn of the €24.6bn they currently have to spend.
Not only is the government planning to cut local authorities’ budgets but they are missing out on hundreds of thousands of euros in building permit fees, because of the construction crisis, Jacobs says. At the same time, the bill for welfare benefits, help with finding work and debt counseling will rise, he told the FD.

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