Yet another operating year has been wrapped up, again with a surplus. As the County Council Finance Commissioner, I have the overall responsibility for County Council operations. This is a considerable responsibility, involving ensuring that resources are available to meet the healthcare needs of all residents and that public transport works for all passengers. In this day and age, as the population growth drives us to strongly expand both healthcare and transportation, this is a complicated balancing act. The budget should be balanced, and there must be enough funding to conduct our daily activities and to finance future investments. Balanced finances are a prerequisite for both today's and tomorrow's healthcare and public transport.
Stockholm County is continuing to grow – in 2015, we gained more than 33,000 new residents. The fact that Stockholm continues to drive Swedish growth and attracts people, businesses, ideas and research is both positive and important.
Equally pleasing is the fact that this is the ninth consecutive year that the County Council is reporting a surplus. The surplus before transition costs reached SEK 343 million, which is somewhat better than expected. This has been possible thanks to major efforts out in every operation where the previously high rate of cost increases has now slowed.
We continue to face major challenges, however. New Karolinska Solna and the other parts of the Future Health and Medical Care Plan are developing medical care services in the County through both major investments and organisational changes. At the same time, we are creating the public transport of the future through modernisation and the expansion of the Metro.
Of course, all of this is only made possible by the important efforts of all of the County Council's employees. I would therefore like to express our warm appreciation to our staff, who make sure that patients, passengers and residents in the County have access to safe care and public transport that can always be relied on.
County Council Finance Commissioner