Budget plan 2018: Zuid-Holland invests extra in economic growth and sustainability
The Provincial Executive (Gedeputeerde Staten, PE) intend to invest extra money in 2018 and to continue along the route of the coalition agreement Zuid-Holland: smarter, cleaner and stronger. “In more ways than one, the Netherlands are doing well, economically speaking, and this also offers the Province of Zuid-Holland the possibility to make extra investments in the great long-term issues that we face. Investments in an innovative and sustainable economy in Zuid-Holland continue to be necessary, and with the extra investments we can accelerate the implementation”, says Regional Minister Baljeu.
The Municipal Executive remains committed to the realisation of the coalition agreement's ambitions. These are: the new economy, the best accessible province, energy renewal, a bustling metropolitan city, climate-adaptable delta and a clean and safe living environment. As a result of a prudent budgetary policy and economic progress, the Province is able to make extra investments in Zuid-Holland in the coming years. In this policy, the Province invests more than €65 million.
The new Zuid-Holland economy
The PE will promote the development of innovative activity even more by increasing the budget for SME Innovation Promotion Top Sectors and the Smart Manufacturing Programme by means of the Fieldlabs. In 2018, the PE will make extra investments to strengthen the life sciences cluster, in particular via the public-private RegMed XB fund. In total, about €19 million in extra investments will be made during the current term of office.
Energy renewal in Zuid-Holland
With the aid of the partners in the region, the PE want to convert the regional energy strategies into action plans to expedite the implementation. To better utilise the amount of wind and solar energy that will become available within a few years, the sustainability of the production of energy carriers will be targeted as well. In 2018, the energy transition efforts in public transport will be continued as following: the first four hydrogen buses will start operating in Hoeksche Waard and Goeree Overflakkee. In total, about €14.5 million in extra investments will be made during the current term of office.
The Municipal Executive is freeing funds to assist in our public transport concession areas. The largest provincial project is the Rhineland Route, which will continue at full speed in 2018. New tenders will be prepared in 2018 as well, for the Drechtsteden and Alblasserwaard-Vijfheerenlanden regions. The aim is to expedite innovation in public transport, for instance by zero-emission transport, an improved mobility chain and introduction of the High-Quality Public Transport lines used by R-network buses.
Appealing, clean and safe living environment
The Zuid-Holland cultural heritage makes valuable contributions to the quality of our environment. The Municipal Executive intends to work on several defining features in Zuid-Holland in 2018, using additional resources and many partners united in the Cultural Heritage Tables. In the framework of a safer living environment, Licensing, Supervision, and Enforcement will be further reinforced during the coming year. The efforts focus on short-term as well as long-term goals and will be made in cooperation with the Zuid-Holland environment agencies.
The financial scope in the 2018 budget offers the opportuinty to look into a reduction of tax burdens by lowering the surcharges.
The new coalition agreement
We observe positive developments in the Provinces Fund. The Provincial Executive will reserve a part for the time being, to be able to respond to the results of the formation of the new government. This means that towards 2019 and beyond, we will have considerable financial scope to decide with the Provincial Council on further investments in Zuid-Holland, that will link up with the new coalition agreement.
Handling by the Provincial Council
The above-mentioned ambitions will be worked out in greater detail and furnished with a financial basis, where applicable with the partners involved, allowing the Provincial Executive to consider these at the latest in the Spring Memorandum of 2018. The budget plan 2018 contains more information on this subject. The Provincial Executive will deal with the budget on 8 November 2017.
The year 2018 is the last complete year in the current coalition's term of office. “We are proud of where Zuid-Holland is at right now. Our renewal ambitions are being defined and our helping hand is being recognized. At the same time, we are determined to achieve even more results in 2018. We will continue to work hard on a smarter, cleaner and stronger Zuid-Holland”, says Regional Minister Jeannette Baljeu.