Budapest public transport may halt this summer due to lack of money
The Budapest administration is preparing a “survival programme” ahead of an anticipated budget shortfall of 76 billion forints (EUR 202m) by August.
Red lines defined by the city’s mayor are preserving the current level of public services and paying the wages of 27,000 employees of the capital’s companies and institutions, Ambrus Kiss, one of the city’s deputy mayors, told a press conference on Thursday. Budapesters “must be protected” from the crisis, he said, adding that “the government … does not want to help”. Decisions made under survival plan will be made at the city assembly meeting later this month, he said.
Government takes away the money
Even though Budapest contributes 36-38 percent to the country’s economy, the government has shown no willingness to resolve the situation, Kiss said. “If Budapest’s economy falters because public services cannot function” the prospect of the economy narrowing the gap with the European average would be compromised, he said. On January 1, 2020, the capital’s balance sheet was 186.2 billion forints in the black, while on the same day this year the surplus was just 10.1 billion, he said, accusing the central government of being largely responsible by changing the business tax which reduced the capital’s revenues by 40 billion forints in 2020 and by another 40 billion forints in 2021 and 2022, MTI wrote.
The mayor of Budapest, Gergely Karácsony, talked about the worsening financial conditions of Budapest here:
The Budapest chapter of the nationally ruling Fidesz party in response said: “This is just the usual move by the left-wing leadership of Budapest.” The deputy mayor “rings the alarm bell about the capital city going bankrupt every three months.” The statement on Facebook said that monies were “flowing away from the city’s treasury because of bad asset management” and “expenses of investment projects launched during the previous governing cycle have gone up by tens of billions of forints because of delays…” The city also had to pay several hundreds of billions of forints in fines over “faulty public procurements”, they said.
Gee, imagine: Leftists mismanaging taxpayers’ money and having no financial discipline. Say it ain’t so! I mean, it never happened thousands of times before already, amirite!
I have to add: Maybe if Mayor Greg was less concerned with which flags are flying on the City Hall building and with building “community centers,” and more with upskilling/retraining people and creating a business-friendly environment while cutting back the bloated public sector, there’d be plenty of money for the city’s mass transit.