The overall EMU deficit at local government level for 2014 is estimated at 3.7 billion euros, 0.6 billion euros above the norm as previously agreed upon. Provinces account for more than half of the amount above the norm.
Anticipated deficit higher than previously agreed upon
Governments within the European Union are bound by budget constraints. According to the norm set by the EMU, the deficit for all levels of government together should not exceed 3 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). On the basis of the 3-percent norm, the national government, municipalities, provinces and district water boards have agreed that the deficit at local government level over 2014 should not be higher than 0.5 percent of the GDP, i.e. 3.1 billion euros. The anticipated deficit of 3.7 billion euros is well above the norm.
Anticipated EMU deficit and norm local governments, 2014
Provincial deficit well above the norm
Municipalities anticipate the highest deficit for 2014. With a 2.1 billion euros deficit, the norm for the municipal government level is exceeded by 172 million euros. Provinces anticipate the highest deficit (1.0 billion euros), i.e. 364 million euros above the previously agreed maximum for provinces. They account for more than half of the amount above the norm at the local government level.
District water boards anticipate a deficit of 471 million euros, 42 million above the norm. Intermunicipal corporations anticipate a deficit to the amount of 69 million euros. The term intermunicipal corporation refers to collaboration between various levels of government. The deficit of intermunicipal corporations has not been defined.
Anticipated EMU deficit local governments
Deficit for 2015 smaller than anticipated
For 2015, local governments anticipate a total deficit of 2.6 billion euros, i.e. 1.1 billion euros below the estimated deficit for 2014. Municipalities expect to reduce their deficit by 1.3 billion euros, but the deficit at the provincial level is anticipated to grow by 0.2 billion euros.
Floor van Oers: