The 2023 adopted budget for the capital comprises EUR 1.205 billion
After deliberations, the City Council of Vilnius adopted the 2023 capital city budget comprising EUR 1.205 billion, 16.9% more than last year. The main focus will be on expanding the school network and public spaces for recreation, investing in the quality of public transport, and creating new cycling and walking paths.
Compared to the plan presented to the Council and the city residents in December, the budget has increased by around EUR 89.4 million. It was decided to allocate more funds to education, with an additional EUR 43.2 million, and to the mobility programme, with an additional EUR 19.3 million.
“While an almost 17% increase looks substantial, inflation was higher last year, so we will draw on our experience, knowledge, and creativity to find ways to use the budget as efficiently as possible and to ensure an environment and services of even better quality. Education, creation of green spaces, revitalisation of commuter districts and southern Vilnius, and expansion of mobility options remain top priorities. We will help municipal institutions to tackle rising costs by providing additional funding,” says Remigijus Šimašius, Mayor of Vilnius.
According to the adopted budget, revenue for independent functions will amount to EUR 694.2 million. Grants from the state will comprise EUR 332 million, EU and other financial assistance will amount to €30.4 million, and borrowings and fund balances will be equal to EUR 48 million and EUR 100.8 million respectively.
Education, environment, and urban development
The field of education will receive EUR 581.9 million, an increase of 15.7% compared to the adopted 2022 budget. An additional EUR 34.3 million is planned to be allocated from the municipal budget for salary increases for education sector staff. Staff will continue to be incentivised with free annual public transport passes.
Investments in the quality of education, reconstruction and expansion of schools and kindergartens will continue. The immediate plans are to open one new school and four kindergartens in Vilnius.
A total of EUR 158.9 million, a 22% increase compared to 2022, is earmarked for the creation and development of a pleasant and green environment in the city. Future projects include 22 new playgrounds, the installation of remote solar power plants for schools and the Energy and Technology Museum, and new garden squares. Around 4,000 trees, 40,000 shrubs and 20,000 vines will be planted this year along street carriageways and in other public spaces.
Mobility, social protection, health
The biggest increase in the budget compared to last year will be in mobility. For better mobility, EUR 146.4 million, an increase of 66.6% compared to 2022, have been earmarked. An additional EUR 33.7 million will be invested in the quality of public transport, as well as in new cycling and walking paths and street reconstruction.
The budget for social protection increases by 19% to EUR 120.7 million. More funding will go to social benefits and support, expanding social rehabilitation services and the network of social services for people with mental or psychiatric problems. Investments in social projects of NGOs will increase.
For health and wellness, EUR 52.5 million have been approved. Some of the funds will be spent on the expansion of Vilnius City Clinical Hospital, the reconstruction and installation of sports grounds near schools, the creation of a swimming pool, a skate park and a pump track in Pilaitė, and the reconstruction of a school health centre. As last year, it was agreed that EUR 3.5 million will be used to fund professional sports clubs, while almost EUR 0.5 million will be allocated for a swimming programme for second-graders.
In addition, employees of institutions providing supportive treatment and nursing services as well as nurses, nurses’ assistants and supporting staff of other in-patient healthcare facilities under the authority of the City Council of Vilnius will be reimbursed for the cost of public transport tickets, and the salaries of employees of institutions providing supportive treatment and nursing services under the authority of the municipality will increase.
A budget of EUR 17.8 million, an increase of 12.9% compared to last year, was approved for the cultural sector of Vilnius, which is celebrating its 700th anniversary. Grants to public bodies will be increased, and more funds will be allocated for the salaries of staff in budget institutions and for funding projects that have won tenders.
For funding safety and security, EUR 14.4 million were approved. Municipal administration and urban planning will receive EUR 74.1 million, and EUR 9.7 million and EUR 29.1 million will be allocated for economic development and loan repayments respectively.