Prague passes Kč 62 billion budget

Transportation will get the biggest single portion of spending

The city of Prague next year will spend Kč 62 billion and have revenues of Kč 47.2 billion. The city will make up the difference in part with state contributions during the year for areas such as education.

The draft budget was approved Nov. 24. After economic offsets, the city districts will work with expenditures and revenues of Kč 68.8 billion. The city counts on investments of Kč 15 billion, or some Kč 2 billion more than in the previous budget.

In total, some Kč 18 billion will go to transportation, with Kč 560 million targeted for fleet renewal.

Grants for social spending will account for Kč 254 million, and Kč 100 million will go to city-run schools.

In infrastructure investments, some Kč 2.9 billion will go toward a new wastewater treatment plant. Preparations for the new Metro D line will take up Kč 800 million. Construction work under Hlávkův Bridge will take Kč 390 million. The city will spend Kč 237 million on Výstaviště in Prague 7 and Kč 202 million on flood protection. Upkeep of the city's flood barriers will total Kč 33 million.

Municipal districts together will get Kč 4.24 billion, or some Kč 1.68 billion more than in the previous budget. Districts will get more money per student.

City councilors also approved the repayment of Kč 8.5 billion in debt from the total of Kč 31.75 billion. The voluntary repayment will save the city interest and not incur any penalty. The budget also has a reserve for payment of Kč 2.6 billion against the debt.

The opposition Civic Democrats (ODS) criticized the increases in spending and also the lack of strategic investment. The ODS and Pirates were also critical of several of the projects including Metro D, which has long been delayed and still does not have all of the required land purchased for all of the stops.

Deputy Mayor Eva Kislingerová (ANO) dismissed the criticism, calling the budget conservative and in line with the law. She also said that the budget is based on current assumptions and will change to fit the future reality.

This year Prague had revenues of Kč 43.6 billion and expenditures of Kč 58.7 billion. The city ended the first half of the year with a surplus of Kč 7.3 billion. At Dec. 31 last year the budget ended with a surplus of Kč 12.4 billion.

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