Kyoto’s reconstruction plan calls for big spending cuts
Written by tokyoclub on August 12, 2021
Facing possible bankruptcy, the city of Kyoto has drafted a financial restructuring plan that would trim its bureaucracy, reduce the number of elderly residents eligible for bus and subway discounts and cut spending on day care centers.
“I deeply regret the fact that we’ve been forced to rely on special measures in order to manage our finances,” Kyoto Mayor Daisaku Kadokawa said Tuesday when announcing the plan. “We’ll tackle all manner of reforms without making anything sacred.”
Kyoto faces a financial shortfall of nearly Y280 billion over the next five years. In April, Kadokawa warned the city could be looking at possible bankruptcy unless it figured out a way to come up with Y160 billion in either cost cuts or additional revenue by the end of fiscal 2025.
The plan, which must be approved by the Kyoto Municipal Assembly this autumn, calls for reducing the city bureaucracy by more than 550 employees and raising the minimum age of those eligible for discounted fares on public transport from 70 to 75.
In addition, subsidies to day care centers will be reviewed. Parents could face higher fees or the loss of some services if the city cuts funding. Kyoto provides subsidies of about ¥24 million per day care center, which are used to help finance the salaries of workers.
Other proposals to raise revenue include increasing the fees for municipal facilities. The city is also looking into raising transportation fares.