Coronavirus is causing the City of Brussels’ budget surplus of €95,000 it had set for 2020 to turn into a deficit of €12.5 million, Brussels Mayor Philippe Close said at the municipal council on Monday.
The fight against the coronavirus pandemic led to an increase in expenditure of €3.3 million, though the city also managed to save €1.5 million, leading to an actual increase in expenditure of €1.8 million. At the same time, the City lost €10.7 million in estimated earnings.
“This is a significant but measured deficit,” Close said. “Our aim is to guarantee the maintenance of public services and jobs in this sector and to support the economy of our city.”
The budget deficit will likely continue in 2021 as the coronavirus crisis continues. In fact, Close called a 2021 budget deficit “inevitable” but said he hoped to keep that deficit “as limited as possible.”
The Brussels Region as a whole has been heavily-affected by coronavirus. It currently accounts for 13.8% of all cases in Belgium, and for 17% of hospital cases. The daily average of new cases over the last seven days is currently 812.7, which is a 51% drop compared to the week before.
The Brussels Times