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Cieltje Van Achter: “Brussels is virtually bankrupt”
The budgetary work of the Brussels government is the textbook example of a start gone wrong. The government is not making any choices and is putting off the important budgetary work until spring of next year. “Nevertheless, the Brussels government cannot afford this standstill. The budget for 2020 is after all not balanced, despite the babble that Open Vld budget minister Gatz is saying on the subject,” says N-VA group leader in the Brussels Parliament Cieltje Van Achter. The Court of Audit has also indicated that the debt burden of this Region is completely off the rails.
500 million euros out of balance
“As a reminder I would like to cite the analysis of the Court of Audit as regards the 2018 budget: a 22% shortfall, while the previous government had also indicated that the budgetary work of the time was ‘balanced’, Cieltje Van Achter neatly adds. “This government continues to follow the wrong path. For the 2020 budget, 10%, or 500 million euros, are being kept outside the budgetary aims. Investments for buses and trams are simply being kept out of the ‘balance’, despite the very probable fact that the EU will not accept this.”
The concept of “due and careful diligence” is no longer in the vocabulary of the governing party Open Vld. The amount of debt of the Brussels-Capital is derailing completely. By the end of this legislature (2024), the Region’s debt will increase to no less than 6.7 billion euros. To make things perfectly clear, the Brussels-Capital Region has a budget of 5.3 billion euros.
Millstone around the neck
“This Brussels government is pervaded by the desperate policy of Verhofstadt I back in the day: budgetary tricks for a balance that will be a millstone around the neck for the coming generations. This is not a future-oriented policy, this is going backwards. Our group will reject this budget and calls on the government to make urgent work instead of trying to deceive the people of Brussels,” Cieltje Van Achter concludes.