Reduced taxation, investments for the Mooi Bos and Joli-Bois schools: Woluwe-Saint-Pierre balances its budget “with caution”
After the winter truce of the municipal councils, it is Woluwe-Saint-Pierre which reopens the budget ball. As a reminder, the 19 Brussels entities must vote these weeks on their 2022 budget and their multi-annual plan for the end of the legislature. Only the municipalities of Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, Auderghem and Evere managed to complete the exercise before January 1… the others should do so shortly.
As in all entities, this is not the time for prosperity for the local finances of Woluwe-Saint-Pierre. “There are still a lot of uncertainties and we are not bragging. The situation was more favorable in the years 2012-2013. So I was cautious of Sioux”, comments the Alderman of Finance, Dominique Harmel, who has been in charge of treasury management since 2013.
With an ordinary budget (regular operation of the municipality) of approximately 90 million euros and an extraordinary one (investments) of 10 million, the CDH-Défi-Écolo majority led by Benoît Cerexhe (CDH) manages to maintain its commitment not to not touch taxation, which remains one of the lowest in the Brussels Region with a PPI at 6% and a property tax set at 2,200 additional centimes.
In addition to the health crisis, it is the expenses related to personnel that weigh on finances: indexations, revaluation negotiated by the Region and partially subsidized, possible increase in the salary of the police officers… To reduce the impact, the majority aims to save money on payroll, including non-replacements.
On the investment side, the college retains ambitions that are altogether limited. The major issue of this legislature remains the redevelopment project for the Mooi Bos and Joli-Bois schools, located in Val des Épinettes. A project revealed at around 5 million, with 3 million hoped for subsidies, and which should be completed in 2024. The Place des Maïeurs will be redeveloped, “if possible” warn the great Sanpetrusian treasurer.
A “suffered” budget according to the MR
At MR, the main opposition party, we are talking about a budget”which resembles that of previous years”. “We think this is very concerning given the current financial situation of the municipality and the inability of the majority to agree to reduce the airfoil”, comments Councilor Muriel Godhaird (MR).
The Liberals denounce structural increases in personnel costs in recent years, and point the finger in particular at the hiring of collaborators for the aldermen. For Deputy Councilor Alexia Bertrand (MR), it is a “budget suffered with a majority that does not assume its responsibilities and reports the problems on the future term of office which will undoubtedly have to increase taxes”.
On the side of the tenuous socialist opposition, another story, we are asking for social policies in terms of education, energy and sport… and we are worried about the non-replacements announced within the administration. “A municipality is not a bank. We are not here to hoard, but to offer quality services. The amount of work is already important, and I am afraid that this will create more pressure”, feared Cécile Vainsel (PS).