Municipalities, provinces and water boards anticipate deficit of 4.1 billion euros


Dutch municipalities anticipate a collective deficit of 2.4 billion euros for 2013. Provinces and water boards anticipate a deficit of 1.2 billion and 0.5 billion euros respectively. The total anticipated deficit for the three levels of local government amounts to 4.1 billion euros and thus far exceeds the previously agreed limit.

Anticipated deficits exceed limit

Governments within the European Union have agreed to comply with certain budget limits. The norm implies that the deficit of the entire government should not exceed 3 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). In the context of the 3 percent limit, national government, municipalities, provinces and water boards have agreed a maximum deficit for the local governments of 0.5 percent of the GDP for 2013, i.e. 3.1 billion euros. The deficit of 4.1 billion euros local governments anticipate for 2013 is considerably higher. 

Anticipated deficit local governments, 2013

Anticipated deficit local governments, 2013

Provinces fear largest budget overrun

Municipalities anticipate the largest deficit for 2013: 2.4 billion euros or 40 million euros above the agreed maximum for all municipalities together. The provinces are expected to exceed the limit most. Their deficit of 1.2 billion euros is 763 million euro above the maximum agreed for the provinces. Water boards anticipate a deficit of 538 million euros, i.e. 227 million euros above their agreed limit.

Deficit four major cities and smallest municipalities within the limit

The four major cities in the Netherlands, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht, have projected a deficit of 580 million euros for 2013, which keeps them just within the agreed maximum of 598 million euros. The smallest municipalities with a population under 50 thousand also comply with the limit, but municipalities with a population between 50 thousand and 250 thousand anticipate a collective deficit far beyond the norm.

Anticipated deficit municipalities by population, 2013

Anticipated deficit municipalities by population, 2013

Hilbert van Dijk