Compared to 2011, towns, cities and communes have 17,000 less civil servants, according to figures obtained by the deputy, Vincent Van Quickenborne (Open Vld), from the Minister for Pensions, Daniel Bacquelaine (MR). Budget cuts forced upon cities, towns and communes have led to an 11% reduction in local civil servants, the figure going from 156,582 in 2011 to 139,687 in 2017.
Local authorities, 65% of which have seen stringent budget cuts have not undergone mass redundancies. Vincent Van Quickenborne asserts, “They have taken advantage of retirements” as a means of reducing staff levels. He believes that “the digitisation of services offers enormous potential for efficiency savings.”
In Flanders, staff numbers within communes are 15% less than in 2011, whilst they reduced by 2% in Wallonia. In Brussels, they increased by 8%. Overall, the number of statutory redundancies lowered across 313 communes, whilst it increased within the remaining 276.