It is not a surprise, the last budget of a five-year term is never the most ambitious on the control of the expenses, whereas it is traditionally amended after the presidential and legislative elections. The 2022 finance bill, which the government presents this Wednesday in the Council of Ministers, is no exception to the rule, even if the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, has defended “responsibility” and “seriousness”. Financial support of the executive.
There is no question of being accused of “insincerity” like the Valls government for the last budget of François Hollande’s five-year term. But it is unlikely that the High Council of Public Finances, which is due to make its opinion on this text public this Wednesday morning, gives its blank check without coughing.
Swelling of the envelope allocated to ministries
This latest budget of Emmanuel Macron’s five-year term provides, in fact, for a pretty swelling of the envelope allocated to ministries. In July, Bruno Le Maire had put forward the figure of nearly 11 billion additional euros.
Except that, since then, spending announcements have been raining down from Emmanuel Macron or his Prime Minister (plan for the independents, boost to MaPrimeRénov, Beauvau for security, public transport, etc.), some of which are not still taken into account in these 11 billion euros.
“Around 16 or 17 billion euros” of additional spending
We are still waiting in particular for two big pieces: the investment plan, in the order of 30 billion euros over several years, to finance innovation and the sectors of the future, and the commitment income for young people. , last major social measure of the five-year term, which could be around 2 billion euros per year, according to the Ministry of Labor.
In the end, we should land rather “around 16 or 17 billion euros” of additional expenditure, estimates the deputy LREM Laurent Saint-Martin, general rapporteur of the Budget to the Assembly. A very significant increase, but for “investment spending”, he defends, ruling out any “slippage”.
“It is not open bar”, also wants to reassure the Minister of Public Accounts, Olivier Dussopt, defending a “return to normal” while keeping the “commitments” made by the President of the Republic on justice, the army, education or research.
No savings measure announced
Bercy promises to devote part of the best expected revenue to deficit reduction thanks to dynamic growth this year (+ 6%, then + 4% in 2022 according to the government). But, unsurprisingly, the government has not announced any savings measures at this stage. The deficit should thus be reduced from 8.4% of GDP this year to 4.8% next year, for a debt that would still reach a record level of 114% of GDP in 2022, after 116% in 2021.
“2022 is still not a normal budget, nor even a normalization with regard to all the new expenses which are announced, even if they can be justified on the economic plan”, estimates Hélène Baudchon, economist at BNP Paribas. “The question is: what will the funding be in the face? “.
Attacks on the right and left
On the right, we are already attacking a “spending euphoria” seven months before the presidential election, in the words of Eric Woerth, LR chairman of the Finance Committee at the National Assembly, in Le Figaro. Xavier Bertrand also lambasted an attitude “absolutely irresponsible” on Sunday, when Valérie Pécresse repeats over and over again that Emmanuel Macron “burns the box”. On the left, the deputy LFI Alexis Corbière denounces “a president in campaign with public means”. “The executive is faced with a difficulty: for almost two years, the policy has been that of whatever the cost. It’s very difficult to get out of it, to say that we have to limit public spending. And it is all the more complicated that the (presidential) election approaches ”, analyzes Charlotte de Montpellier, economist at the bank ING.
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