Budget Surplus of 91 million Euro for 2021: “Services have been cut from the City”

The Democratic Party: “This money is meant to pay for primary schools, transportation and culture. There have been scarce investments on public housing. The sports complex is a mortgage on future resources”

24 March 2022

The management report for the City of Venice will close with a budget surplus of 91 million Euros for 2021, said Councilor for the Budget Michele Zuin on Wednesday: “at the same time we were able to support the socio-economic fabric during these years of crisis due to the pandemic”. The secretaries of the Democratic Party, however, see this figure as “an enormous amount compared to the lack of investments and resources locally during the last two years when it comes to public housing stock, to the cuts in local public transportation, culture, education services and primary schools, to the support of commerce and crafts, to the museum sector, to traditions and to social events”.

“A surplus of this size signifies that an adequate distribution of resources in the area has not been planned – write Monica Sambo (PD Secretary) and Tommaso Bortoluzzi (PD Secretary with delegation to the budget) – The path of increasing the Budget surpluses – in 2019 the surplus amounted to 62 million Euro – is a path generated by the transfer of resources from the State (457 million Euro came from the Renzi government with the Pact For Venice just in the period 2016-2019) and by generalized cuts to local services”.

The administration, as it has explained, intends to invest the budget surplus in the sports complex, since only a part of the overall cost, 280 million, will be covered by resources from the PNRR, while around 200 million will be paid by the City. “If we take out new mortgages – comments the PD – there is the risk with the interest rates increasing that the debt costs could become a drain, and that also the estimates for the costs of the work will grow, given the ongoing increases in the costs of raw materials”. The PD also points out that “the City has also invested very little in public housing: never more than 3-4% of ordinary revenue, from 1.5 million Euro to a maximum point of 6 million in previous years: a paltry amount. This misuse of resources has not even excluded the use of the tourism tax, which overall has brought in close to 180 million for the City in the past five years, and which should also be used to support culture, the museum sector and local traditions”.

Regarding public transportation, the PD writes, “after two years of the pandemic we are still not in a position to present a serious industrial plan, and the State had to intervene with contributions of 40 million Euro. Meanwhile, when it comes to urban regeneration, the City has preferred to build a parking lot in the Porto di Cavergnago area rather than invest in the Rialto Market, for which numerous proposals have been advanced, but have not found any commitment from the administration. The total lack of discussion in City Council – concludes the PD – the lack of involvement of trade associations, trade unions, voluntary, cultural, amateur sports associations in the area has resulted in a program based on the mere building of a sports complex, whose costs will be borne almost entirely by the city budget, mortgaging important resources. We believe that a serious political program must be shared, to have the needs of the local community as a beacon – the protection of services, the quality of life, the creation of polyfunctional public structures, and with the support of private capital, investments in the energy transition”.

Source: Venezia Today

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