The Aargauer 2019 budget was decided. After a total of almost eight hours of debate, spread over two days, the General Council approved on Tuesday the ECB Governing Council's estimates with some changes. 83 parliamentarians said yes, 49 rejected the budget.
The votes did not come from the extreme right and left. Both the Greens and the SVP were dissatisfied and tense for the first time in the final vote. As several of their respective requests were not accepted, the two groups could not cope with the estimates. Even if they agreed that financial policy, as practiced by Aargau, could not be supported for the benefit of future generations, the reasons for this were completely different. The Greens would have liked much more green projects and therefore actions against climate change in the budget seen, the SVP much more austerity measures to avoid long-term bankruptcy. The SVP had already made it clear in the inaugural debate last Tuesday that they will reject the budget. The Greens had hesitated at that moment.
Control foot remains the same
In other fractions, however, the estimate has arrived. At the end of the debate, the Grand Council has saved 1'366,000 francs from the government's proposal, which means that the 2019 budget will provide a good million francs in profits. The cantonal tax rate remains unchanged, the SVP's request to reduce it by two percentage points was rejected by the majority.
In the end, the Greens and SVP agreed, but shortly before a minor scandal broke out between the two poles. In the detailed debate on positions in the Department of Health and Welfare, Jean-Pierre Gallati, on behalf of the SVP, proposed reducing the number of intra-cantonal patients in the budget so that 17 million francs could be saved. An application that was considered unreal and had no chance, but for the Green Robert Obrist was "out of pure despair" of support. Her desperation over the burgeoning health care costs prompted SVP's health advisor and health director, Franziska Roth, to step down. "Leave room for a woman who can do this," the councilman told the councilman. The health director's performance certificate is miserable.
Already in the budget debate last year, construction sites in the health sector were an important topic, a year later, nothing has changed. Franziska Roth is weak and communicates poorly, Obrist added. The Green Party must throw its criticism to the Council of the General Government, answered Gallati. It was incomprehensible to him how the government could present a budget without facing health costs.
"It's sad that we have to conduct inappropriate discussions because of an impossible request," said Jürg Knuchel of the SP. He asked the parliamentarians to return to the subject. Roth's government advisor did not respond to Obrist's resignation request. Later, she told Tele M1 that she had thick skin.
Wages are increased
More factual was the debate over that proposed by the Governing Council of the Tax Department and the salary increases for civil servants. The government council anticipated a 1% increase, the SP filed the request to adjust wages by 1.8%. "The canton of Aargau can not do that," said Regina Lehmann of the SVP. This asked to forego a raise.
This is not a generous increase, said Marco Hardmeier (SP), but an inflationary adjustment. This does not go into industry or industry, said Benjamin Giezendanner (SVP). "I can not tolerate the fact that the Grand Council continues to complain about the poor working conditions of state officials," Giezendanner said. The FDP and CVP supported the Governing Council's request, the Greens supported those of the SP.
The salary increase is needed, said CFO Markus Dieth. "The request is not exaggerated, we offset inflation," the government's board said. The canton should remain attractive as an employer to motivated employees. The council followed the government and decided to increase by one percent. However, a request by Gabriel Lüthy (FDP) to cover public sector salaries based on the 2019 budget for the 2020-2022 plan was rejected.
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