Dutch municipal expenditure down for third consecutive year

Dutch municipal spending exceeded 52 billion euros in 2012, i.e. nearly 1 billion euros down from 2011. Municipal spending declined for the third year in a row and was 3.8 billion below the level of 2009 according to Statistics Netherlands.

Municipal spending has risen significantly until 2010, partly because municipalities took over national government duties. In 2007, for example, municipal authorities became responsible for integration of immigrants into Dutch society and under the Social Support Act (Wmo), introduced in 2007, municipalities also became responsible for providing home care. In 2008, sheltered employment also became a municipal responsibility.

Cutbacks on hiring of external staff and investments
Due to the recession, municipal authorities are forced to cut back on goods and services. Municipal spending on goods and services has declined by 1.8 billion euros since 2009; 1.1 billion was saved on hiring external staff. Investments declined by more than 1.1 billion euros and municipalities bought less land.

Growth municipal spending on benefits brought to a standstill in 2012
Total expenditure on benefits, on the other hand, have risen by nearly 0.9 billion euros in three years. Municipal authorities managed to stop the growth in 2012, mainly by means of cutting back on social services, like home help, care for disabled and immigrant integration courses. The increase in the costs of income support benefits also slowed down in 2012 compared to the preceding years.

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