Almost a third of the municipalities will not be able to complete the budget by 2021,

NRC

reports

.

It concerns a total of 120 municipalities.

The other 216 municipalities are also struggling with financial shortages.

The municipalities that will have their budgets finalized this year still had to make firm policy choices, make substantial cutbacks, use their reserves or increase the burden on residents.

This has emerged from an investigation by

NRC

of all supervision letters sent by the provinces in response to the budgets submitted by the municipalities.

Nineteen municipalities were not included because they have just merged or will do so next year.

Twelve municipalities are under the guardianship of the province.

That is three more than last year.

These municipalities could not have a single budget year balanced until 2024.

They will have to submit a recovery plan in the coming months.

According to Floor Vermeulen, deputy in South Holland (Finance, VVD), the number twelve "masks" the problem.

"You can see that in some municipalities it was decided last minute with the municipal council to use incidental money to reduce structural costs or that reserves were drawn on. That is billing, not closing the gap."