Rheinberg: tripartite alliance saves the budget

Budget debate in Rheinberg
The tripartite alliance saves the budget

CDU, Bündis 90 / Die Grünen and SPD are united in the goal of preventing the city of Rheinberg from returning to the concept of budgetary security. It looks like it worked. But it doesn’t work without concessions.

As the old saying goes, anxious struggle leads to success. The three parliamentary group leaders Erich Weisser (CDU), Svenja Reinert (Verdi) and Philipp Richter (SPD) remember this. They share the need to prevent a return to the financial constraints of the home security concept (HSK). Because that would mean the city would also have to save where it really hurts. “We didn’t want that under any circumstances,” Reinert said in a conversation with our editors on Friday. Richter adds: “That is why we have been designing a catalog of measures to prevent HSK for at least a year. We want to buy time to get out of the structural deficit.” Weisser: “Our goal was not to raise taxes, if possible.”

At least it didn’t work: the trio will propose to the Council to increase the tax on shows by one percentage point. This means an additional income of 13,000 euros for a total of 63,000 euros in the division.

        Aid for inclusion like the European School is important, but it costs a lot of money.  The CDU, the Greens and the SPD managed to get the funding.

Aid for inclusion like the European School is important, but it costs a lot of money. The CDU, the Greens and the SPD managed to get the funding.
Photo: Armin Fischer (arfi)

They sat in this rare constellation, took a leap of faith, fought hard for every penny and tried to take off the party’s political glasses, he said. It wasn’t easy, but it worked. Weisser: “The city wins, not one of us, it was important to us. Because we all win.” Philipp Richter: “We think our savings proposals will allow the Board to decide on a budget that can be approved.”

The biggest part of the savings package is the costs for the inclusion aides. The SPD wanted to use € 286,000, the Greens would have enough € 250,000 for a year. Everyone, including the CDU, is aware that helpers in schools are becoming more and more important, especially due to the expected war refugees from Ukraine. The partners have now agreed € 225,000 for this year and next.

6000 euros for the design costs of a traffic light system on the B58 / Borther Straße in Borth should first be provided with a blocking notice – originally the CDU wanted the traffic light, the Greens wanted help with the crossing, the FDP also a turning lane. The 4,000 euros per year for the cultural summer are withheld. A saving of 71,000 euros comes from lower personnel costs. Svenja Reinert: “The controller will leave the city administration and the finance department assumes that the position should not be filled.”

The trio raised global underspending: a fiscal policy tool for fiscal consolidation. This means that savings can be made by having required positions in the budget that are not filled. In other words, the amount invested must be generated by spending less elsewhere.

CDU, Verdi and SPD were also able to save on sports financing. Each side had to reluctantly accept some decisions. The result will now go to the parliamentary groups on Monday and the Council on Tuesday. “We saved the moment,” says Philipp Richter, earning the approval of his fellow activists.


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