City debt: investments leave Brussels’ budget with little breathing room
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    City debt: investments leave Brussels’ budget with little breathing room

    The planned metro expansion is only one project that will increase investment spending in Brussels. Credit: WikiCommons

    The Brussels government could have almost no room to manoeuvre financially in the future, according to a study from the University of Namur.

    The Research Center for Regional Economics and Economic Policy (CERPE) said in a recent report that although revenues will grow faster than primary expenses, they will remain below total expenses between 2019 and 2024, according to New Mobility.

    The report also found that the massive increase in investment spending — from 275 million euros in 2018 to 460 million euros in 2019 — is caused by both the renovation of the Leopold II tunnel and the North Metro extension. That leaves Brussels with very little room to navigate any other expenses that may occur.

    Other investments that have not necessarily been accounted for in this initial budgetary plan include the decision to have public transport meet low emissions standards and aligning municipal scales with regional ones, which would cost 340 million euro.

    The CERPE also projects that Brussels’ debt will increase by 98% over the next 5 years. The debt was worth just over 4 million euro in 2019 and is estimated to reach 8 million euro by 2024.

    Sam Nelson
    The Brussels Times