Transylvanian city mayors have good reason to worry about the recently announced adjustments to this year’s budget, although so far only two city leaders – those of Arad and Reșița – have voiced their concerns. “Every year we are losing millions of euros due to government measures. We have no reason to be satisfied, as we are losing around €15 million per year. This makes €30 million in two years, and we get no money back from the government. Alongside other big cities Arad is a major contributor to the central budget,” Arad city mayor Călin Bibarţ told a local news portal.
Bibarţ believes the government got into this situation because of its inability to run a country. “We have no compensation claims – although it would be normal, seeing how much Arad contributes to the central budget – but it would be fair to recover at least the budgetary losses taken as a result of the fiscal measures taken by the Government: almost €15 million last year and €15 million this year. We would like to get this money back. If the government has charged us with social expenses, they should also provide us with financing. Like every mayor, we are trying to keep spending under control, but it affects our investment plans,” Bibarţ said.
The comments come hot on the heels of the recently released budget adjustment draft. The adjustment includes a RON 4.4 billion increase in local budgets, of which RON 1.5 billion goes to PNDL, a government scheme to finance local investment without much spending control. The Finance Ministry’s draft keeps the budget deficit to 2.76% and slightly increases the 2019 GDP forecast to RON 1,031 billion up from RON 1,022.5 billion.
Title image: Counties contributing to the central budget. Image source: Economica