Coronavirus pares away Bratislava’s budget

The city prepares for a drop in revenue.

Bratislava Castle seen from the Hodzovo Square in front of the Presidential Palace. Bratislava Castle seen from the Hodzovo Square in front of the Presidential Palace. (Source: SITA)

Bratislava city council has adjusted its €450 million budget in response to the impact of the COVID-19 virus pandemic. It has reduced or bound expenditures by almost €36 million. City councillors approved the changes at their session on April 30.

“We have approached the reduction and binding of budgetary expenditures in a relatively radical way,” said Bratislava Mayor Matúš Vallo, as cited by the TASR newswire.

Related articleBratislava adopts additional anti-coronavirus measures Read more 

The changes include a reduction of the current budget by roughly €12 million, cuts in investments of €13 million, reduction of a planned loan from the European Central Bank from €20 million to €12.5 million and binding current expenditures of around of €11 million.

In terms of investments, the city is postponing the purchase of new buses for the Dopravný Podnik Bratislava (DPB) public transport company. On the other hand, the city will increase its monthly transfer for DPB from € 5.4 million to €7.8 million. DPB has been heavily affected by the pandemic as its monthly revenues have decreased by €4 million due to the reduction of the use of public transport. Moreover, as a municipal company, it qualifies for none state anti-corona assistance.

Reduced revenues

The city council is preparing for three possible scenarios for economic development reflecting the contraction of the Slovak economy by between 5 and 40 percent. It considers the moderate course of the pandemic with a drop in GDP of between 5 and 10 percent as the most probable. This translates into 12-19 percent or €41-66 million of Bratislava’s current budget. The biggest drop in revenues will be caused by lower income taxes, estimated at between €27-46 million.

Simultaneously, the city council points out that all available prognoses are preliminary and that the real impact of the pandemic will depend on its duration and its development in other countries, as well as the measures adopted by the Slovak government. It plans to re-examine the city’s budget during its June session. If there is need, it will use the reserve fund or further reduce it.

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