NYC agencies directed to cut costs before start of preliminary budget process

New York City’s government agencies will be required to cut costs in the ramp-up to the preliminary budget process that begins in January, Mayor de Blasio said Tuesday.

The savings regimen — “Program to Eliminate the Gap,” or PEG — will be applied to all city agencies.

“What has been put there initially is simply to get ideas and proposals back from agencies. It’s not the final plan by any stretch,” de Blasio said at a press briefing. “The big x-factor is what I hope and believe will happen, that President Biden will come in and really focus on a serious, large stimulus. But until we know that we have to prepare for the worst.”

Mayor de Blasio at City Hall.
Mayor de Blasio at City Hall. (Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

De Blasio derided the most recent federal stimulus package, which was passed by Congress Monday, as merely “short-term” relief that would not fundamentally address the dire fiscal needs now faced by the city and state governments due to COVID.

While he’s hoping that Biden will act quickly to sign off on a new stimulus deal when he’s sworn in next month, that is by no means a certainty — which could mean the city would have to cut its budget even more than it did this past summer.

That would almost certainly translate into laying off city workers.

“We have to be ready for anything and everything,” de Blasio said. “It’s a very sobering moment.”

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