Lille: Financially speaking, the city is doing quite well

Lille: Financially speaking, the city is doing quite well

Those who pay their debts get richer, it seems. Wednesday evening, during the municipal council of Lille, the elected representatives of the majority presented the administrative account for the year 2021. And they were rather smiling, which was not a foregone conclusion, in particular due to the crisis health of the coronavirus which has impacted the finances of the city. Nevertheless, if the figures are to be believed, everything is fine. So much so that the debt is slowly being reduced and the use of borrowing is decreasing.

According to the town hall, the financial impact of the coronavirus epidemic amounts to 10 million euros for the year 2021. An almost anecdotal amount on an overall budget of more than 426 million euros but was not planned and could have penalized other expenses. It was not the case. There is even a 22% increase in investments compared to 2020 for an amount of 73 million euros.

When inflation invites itself into the 2022 budget

It should also be noted that operating revenues, up 3%, are two points above the evolution of operating expenses, “controlled at less than 1%”. The city’s “gross structural” savings, 65.7 million euros, is even 10% higher than the pre-Covid level. The city is also continuing to reduce its debt. If the level of the debt is “at the lowest for ten years”, its total amount remains substantial, at 349 million euros.

Last year’s net result was established at 31.5 million euros. A nice jackpot which was used in small part to finance an equity investment in Euratechnologies and work at the Lille Opera. The rest, about 27 million, will enable less money to be borrowed than expected. A strategy that opposition green elected officials deplore, seeing in this surplus the opportunity, for example, to “renovate two schools in 2022”.

While the coronavirus and related expenses have receded, others are looming in 2022, linked to inflation. The original budget had been drawn up with an inflation forecast of 1.5%, whereas it has reached 5.2% today. Logically, in the 2022 supplementary budget, the city provides 2.1 million euros to “deal with rising prices”, including 1.89 million just for the increase in energy prices.

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