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Amsterdam to cut spending on infrastructure

In a move to cut costs, Amsterdam's city government has announced plans to do less street work, digitalise the city's parking ticket system, and consolidate services for residents and business owners into fewer offices, as reported by Het Parool.

Starting in 2015, Amsterdam has to cut annual spending on infrastructure by 120 million euros, a process which will be implemented in stages. The first measures, to be introduced this year, will already save the city 31 million euros per year.

The city will save 10 million years annually just by revamping the existing parking system. Parking meters will soon no longer print out paper tickets, and those whose time has expired will no longer get a ticket placed on their windshield.

Instead, parking will be paid for by entering one's license plate number. Inspectors will be able to simply scan the plate to see if the parking has been paid for, and if the time has expired the car owner will be sent a ticket via mail.

The city can save a lot by digging up its streets less often, and while trees need to be planted and parking needs to be maintained, the city plans to evaluate potential projects more critically in the future.

The concentration of services, meanwhile, will render 44 of the 50 existing offices redundant, and the city plans to terminate the leases on those buildings or sell them. Amsterdam also plans to make cuts in areas such as purchasing, personnel and waste collection.

Whether these redudancies mean that those who do keep their jobs will have to do more work remains to be seen.

Carly

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Carly Blair

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