The City of Jyväskylä publishes a study by an external expert on possible savings targets
According to the financial statements and recent estimations, the city of Jyväskylä must permanently balance its finances with around 40 million euros over the next three years. The biggest reason for the adjustment is the significant increase in social and healthcare services expenditures in recent years, which will permanently cut the city's state contributions in the years after the well-being services reform.
In order to balance the finances, the city is looking for savings, means to increase the city's revenues and ways to organize services more efficiently than at present, for example by utilizing digitalization. The work of balancing the finances is divided into the years 2024, 2025, and 2026.
By balancing the finances, the aim is to ensure the vitality of the growing city and the ability to provide high-quality services for Jyväskylä's growing population also in the future.
– The goal of balancing the finances is extremely hard, and we probably can't avoid decreasing the services either. Regardless, the starting point is that the level of service in Jyväskylä remains mostly well. The purpose is also to ensure that Jyväskylä maintains its position as a growing and attractive city, says Mayor, Timo Koivisto.
The first study by an external expert is completed
At the beginning of the year, Jyväskylä City Council ordered an external study to find savings from FCG Oy. Yesterday, for the first time, the preliminary list of measures was presented to the city council which is used as background material for the financial adjustment work, but it is by no means considered as the final list of adjustments. Currently, a similar study is also being carried out in, for example, Turku and Tampere.
Requesting feedback from various stakeholders on possible ways to save finances
– During the upcoming autumn, decision-makers of the city need to consider while planning the budget for the city, whether the measures proposed can be taken into decision-making or if there are alternative ways to balance the finances of the city. To support this work, we want to hear the views of residents and other stakeholders right from the start of the planning and preparation process on what we can save and what we won't give up, says Jaakko Selin, Chairman of the City Board.
An online resident survey has been published today to collect feedback. In addition, the city's personnel, organizations, associations, and societies have opened their own surveys. The resident survey is open until 25 May 2023.
The survey consists of action proposals concerning services for residents
Most of the ways in the preliminary study that was published today concern the city's own operations or personnel. Considerations include reducing sickness absences, the city's financial arrangements (for example, loan or property arrangements), and utilizing digitization or the functionality of support services. The presented measures do not have a direct impact on residents' services. However, the entire target sum of 40 million euros cannot be covered by internal arrangements, so some of the proposals are focused on the organization of services.
– In the resident survey, an effort has been made to select those means from the report's selection that would have an impact on the services offered to the city's residents, if implemented. The limitation of the survey means that the total amount of savings in the resident survey is significantly lower than the 40 million euros in the application, says Vesa Voutilainen, the City's Finance Director.
However, by looking at the survey, you can quickly see that savings or additional revenues are being retrieved well from very different services and in different ways.
– We want to make it visible how challenging it will be to find even small savings and to find alternative means of saving at the same time, Voutilainen continues.
The first decisions on the allocation of savings will be made in autumn 2023 as part of the budget preparation
The means collected in the survey are suggestions by an external expert on ways in which savings or additional funding could be accumulated for the city. The listing is preliminary and will change as the preparation progresses.
– The survey is by no means considered a final list of savings but a collection of measures that the city's decision-makers will begin to consider during the coming summer and autumn, underlines Jaakko Selin, the Chairman of the City Board.
The feedback collected from various stakeholders is submitted for the information of decision-makers and preparatory officials. Therefore, new savings ideas can be considered as the preparation progresses.
Decisions on the budget will be made in the autumn of 2023. The work will start during August-September with the deliberations of the expert boards. The proposals of the boards will be considered by the city council in October 2023.
In November, the city council decides on next year's tax rates and approves the final budget for 2024.
Check out the entire preliminary report material and proposed measures here.
- Chairman of the City Board, Chairman of the working group guiding the financial balancing work, Jaakko Selin, tel. 0400 778 779
- City of Jyväskylä’s Mayor, Timo Koivisto, tel. 050 336 2819
- City's Finance Director, Vesa Voutilainen, tel. 040 645 3327
Survey in a nutshell:
- The opened survey focuses on savings that could be allocated to the services of the residents of Jyväskylä.
- The listed savings methods are not final, but an external expert's view of possible savings targets.
- In the survey, you can choose ways for saving or increase the city's revenue.
- The total amount of savings requested in the survey is significantly lower than the total amount of 40 million euros announced.
- This is because a large part of the savings is aimed at implementation within the city with new digital solutions, utilization of personnel departures, and reviewing the group's financing and asset arrangements, among other things.
- The respondent can also share their own thoughts on, for example, which things outside the list could save money and which the city should stick to in all situations.
- The feedback obtained through the survey will be compiled directly for the decision-makers' information and to be used when the decision-making phase begins in the autumn of 2023.
- The list of saving means will certainly change during the preparation. To make it as easy as possible for monitoring the preparation, the city openly informs about the progress of the preparation.
- Answering the survey is easy and fast.
- The survey is in Finnish and English.
- The survey works best with the Google Chrome browser.
- If necessary, support for answering the survey can be obtained from local houses at Piippuranna Club on Mondays (Paperitehtaankatu 1) and Kortteli Club during all opening hours (Vapaudenkatu 48–50). Client computers are available in local houses.
- There are also separate, supplementary surveys for personnel and organizations, associations, and societies.