Berlin announces 17 billion euros for local investment until 2026
Aimed at cushioning the blow of the war in Ukraine and the pandemic, this financial injection could signal the end of austerity
Yesterday, local authorities in Berlin announced a new ambitious investment plan with expenditures of over 17 billion euros between 2022 and 2026. Finance Senator Daniel Wesener explained that with the effects of the war in Ukraine and the pandemic, investment has to be the highest priority of the German capital for the coming years.
According to an official statement, the city has to keep a good fiscal balance, while providing a cushion for the most vulnerable and continuing the expansion of social infrastructure. With Berlin estimating investments of 8% of the city’s total yearly budget, this move could be a signal that the era of austerity is finally over.
Investing in schools
Although the new plan aims to invest extraordinary amounts of money in the city of Berlin, a statement by the city explains that it will start off relatively slow and ramp up as the years go on. Nevertheless, it will still see yearly financial injections of well over 3 billion euros, nearly doubling the budgets of many ongoing initiatives, including social and affordable housing.
By far, though, the lion’s share of the funds will go towards school construction. In 2021, Berlin launched a school building offensive with expenses of around 653 million euros. The available funds for that, however, will increase continuously and in 2025 are set to reach 1.7 billion.
Building schools is a core issue for a growing city like Berlin, as, according to government projections, until the school year 2026/2027, the German capital would need an additional 16,180 places for children between grades 1 to 10.
Senator Wesener also pointed out that other major areas of investment include transport and social infrastructure. They also include major projects like the Town Hall in Mitte, the Charité Heart Centre and turning the building of the former Tegel Airport into a campus for Beuth University.
Wesner explained that this investment policy can only succeed if authorities are able to keep their focus on the priorities while maintaining financial stability and the ability to act. He was quoted in a press statement saying: “This tour de force pays off, after all, it is about actually implementing the individual measures within the planned period.”