‘We are now seeing the first signs of what is happening, to the people who report to the UWV and what we see happening at the social services,’ says De Rook (D66). “If you project that ahead, you will see that many people are losing their jobs.”
Especially people under 27
According to the councilor, this mainly concerns people under 27 years of age. “They have little entitlement to unemployment benefits and are therefore quickly on social assistance benefits.” De Rook foresees a ‘very big task’ for his municipality.
The city council wants to continue to invest in the coming period to prevent so many people from ending up on social assistance. ‘We want to ensure that we continue to carry out all construction projects and assignments that we had planned. That keeps employment up to standard, ‘says De Rook.
‘We also try to make the city center attractive and thereby ensure that more people come to the city again. That ensures that no more people lose their jobs. ”
Council also wants to invest
A large majority in the city council on Wednesday evening expressed their support for the plans to continue to invest, even at a time when things are going financially less.
Only VVD, CDA and Stadspartij, which together account for eight of the 45 seats in the city council, did not support the plan. ‘We are not against investing,’ says VVD group leader Ietje Jacobs, ‘but we do make other choices. In times like this, we have to be extra careful. Moreover, structurally more money needs to go to sports and exercise. ‘
Too little budget
In the budget debate on Wednesday evening, Alderman De Rook once again called on The Hague for more money. ‘We are running ten to twenty million a year short on performing the assistance tasks. We like to do it and it is also best to do it locally. But then we need sufficient budget. ”
‘We are here to explain locally why the tax is going up and why savings are being made,’ De Rook is disappointed. ‘And that while the support package is paid to KLM with money for government tasks that have been deposited with the municipality. We have not gone into politics to explain stories like that. That makes it sour. “
Corona deficit now two to six million
The corona deficit of the municipality of Groningen currently stands at two to six million euros, De Rook calculates.
“The year is far from over, so there will be some extra. At the same time, there are also financial windfalls through corona. But the two to six million is still without spending cuts. “
New tax increases are not excluded
The municipality receives a subsidy of about six million euros from the government, but that is probably not enough. De Rook hopes not to have to make further cuts, but does not rule out new tax increases for residents of the municipality.
“We have yet to complete the puzzle for the budget, so you don’t have the luxury of answering ‘no’ with the question of whether new tax increases are coming.”
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