Abolishing borough councils to cost Amsterdam millions

Officials in Amsterdam are concerned that the abolition of the city’s seven borough councils will cost millions of euros in unemployment benefit for departing executives, the Parool reported at the weekend.

So far 11 of the 30 borough council aldermen and women have said they are standing down in 2014, which will cost the city €950,000 in benefits in one year alone.

As civil servants, the executives are entitled to 70% of their last earned salary of €8,500 to €9,000 a month for 36 months if they fail to find a job.

Amsterdam is planning to replace the borough councils with locally-elected borough committees which will have fewer powers but still control a budget.

However, it is not yet clear if the plan will win the approval of parliament, where the committee idea is viewed as maintaining a layer of government, not removing one.

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