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Saturday 23.09.2017 | Name days: Vanda, Veneranda, Venija
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Opposition: almost all reserves of Riga municipality have been «eaten away»

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUBudget deficit of Riga City Council has reached more than EUR 50 million, which points to unprofessional management of those in power there, as noted by deputies of the National Alliance.

According to data compiled by deputies of the faction, while Riga City Council’s surplus was EUR 28.8 million, deficit began to grow starting with 2011: from EUR 14.8 million to EUR 55.6 million predicted for the budget of 2015.

Deputies of NA explain this situation with ‘eating away’ all of Riga municipality’s savings: while savings of the previous management of Riga City Council had exceeded EUR 120 million in 2009, this year’s planned savings are estimated at EUR 15 million. Deputies add that deficit grows because of all the loans the municipality keeps taking.

Opposition deputies believe the municipal government is trying to patch deficit by selling real estate properties. This was especially apparent in 2014, when nearly every meeting of the Finance and Administrative Affairs Committee featured the matter of alienating new real estate properties. Once all the houses were sold, they decided to sell off half of Lucavsala, says deputy Andris Lacis.

Lacis says Ushakov’s management has caused problems for all capital companies, including Rīgas ūdens, Rīgas namu pārvaldnieks and Rīgas satiksme, with the latter being especially popular in the media thanks to its plans to increase public transport fares this year. A lot of money has been invested into Rīgas acs, which is also in a complicated situation.

Deputies also criticize Ushakov’s complaints about the government and the lack of funds. «The Mayor likes to speculate about how he is not given anything. Poor thing. But it is far from the truth,» – said Girts Lapins. He adds that revenue of the budget has been growing at a steady pace. Furthermore, Riga municipality is given 55% of Latvia’s GDP – half of the country’s economy. «What is there to say of municipalities that have low income?» – he added.

Deputies add that Ushakov often publicly speculates by saying that the size of loans taken by the municipality is small. But while the size of direct debt did not exceed EUR 200 million in 2003, the size of Riga’s direct debt had reached nearly EUR 900 million in 2013.

Deputies also criticized the situation under which it is now impossible to invest funds of the municipality. The only hope left is money from European Funds or more loans.

«Such a management style is unacceptable in a long-term perspective. All of this – loans and budget deficit – will be left for the next Riga City Council to handle, not Ushakov,» – explained deputies, adding that they will not support the budget plan on the next meeting of Riga City Council.

Ref: 102.109.109.637


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