For the fourth year in a row, Duisburg City Council is ending the year with a budget surplus: in 2018, it was almost 47 million euros (compared to 15 million euros the previous year). In addition, it has been able to repay about 430 million euros of debt over the past four years. This result was primarily achieved by reducing contributions to the Landschaftsverband Rheinland (by 15.6 million euros) and by reducing spending on social security (unemployment benefit costs went down by 5.6 million euros and the number of refugees receiving benefits also went down).
Martin Murrak, Duisburg City Director and Treasurer said on the City’s official website: “I am very pleased that I can announce this result at the beginning of my term in office. To achieve a surplus in the long term, we now have to work with the national leadership and the North Rhine-Westphalia authorities to ensure long-term consolidation of the budget and an early resolution of the debt problem. Low interest rates, high levels of employment and robust economic performance mean that things are more favourable than ever at the moment. But despite the repayments achieved, debt still amounts to 1.35 billion euros, and we are reliant on the help of our colleagues from the legislative branch.”
The budget surplus has influenced the City’s personnel policy this year, providing an opportunity to create new jobs, and a competition has been announced to fill 117 vacant positions. Specialists are being recruited primarily to units working directly with residents: for example, in social and housing services and civil and administrative affairs etc. Recruitment agencies and the city’s employment centre are running a recruitment campaign including advertising actively on social networks and in print media in Duisburg and nearby towns.
In April, Perm also discussed the implementation of the city budget for 2018. The public hearings were attended by residents, Perm administration colleagues and experts. Last year’s budget was deficit-free but not 100% achieved in all areas. Total expenditure implementation in 2018 was 93.8% (26.6 billion roubles instead of 28.3 billion roubles). 25 municipal programs accounted for most of the expenditure, and experts highlighted specifically that in 2018 the investment component of the budget had increased significantly.