“Difficult” City Budget Tabled Monday

Mayor Matt Brown expects the process of finalizing the 2015 London city budget will be a tough one. .

The draft budget will be presented to the Strategic Priorities and Policy Committee meeting on Monday.

Brown says the meeting will give council a good sense of where London is headed as a community.

“I think the 2015 budget could very well be our most difficult budget for the term ahead,” he says. “I think the challenges that we’ll face in the 2015 budget talks will reinforce how important it is for us to move to a multi-year budget planning process. Something that includes a service review component, so we can turn the curve towards long-term affordability and sustainability.”

Brown says he expects some challenges balancing the books due to decisions made by last term’s council.

“Empty promises like 0% [tax] increases… they might provide what seems like a short-term gain at the time, but there will always medium and long-term consequences as a result,” says Brown.

He would not speculate on an exact number, but Brown says a reasonable tax increase, in the long-term, would be less than or equal to the rate of national inflation.

He says council will need to carefully consider the short and long-term consequences of the decisions they make with the proposed budget.

The finalized budget will be presented to Londoners at the end of February.