Councils warn on future spending, say cuts will be unavoidable

Dutch local councils expect to have a combined budget shortfall of €1.1 billion by 2026 and may be faced with making more spending cuts in the following years, according to research by accountancy BDO.

In total, 284 of the country’s 342 councils expect to be in the red in two years’ time, BDO is quoted as saying by broadcaster NOS. The government has incorporated savings of €3 billion a year on local authority spending from 2026 into its own spending plans.

Councils are funded partly by local taxes but mainly by money from national government.

“Councils have more tasks but fewer financial resources,” BDO’s Rob Bouman told NOS. “They are out of balance.” Several councils in the survey complained that it is becoming increasingly difficult to organised good youth social services and schools because of the spending cuts.

Councils currently have a combined surplus of €3.7 billion, BDO said.

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