Budget: the Senate strengthens the “safety net” for communities

The right-wing majority Senate simplified and expanded, overnight from Wednesday to Thursday, the “security net» proposed by the government in the 2023 draft budget to compensate for the increase in local authorities’ energy expenditure. The device adopted by the senators, against the advice of the government, “takes into account the shortcomings observed after the fact” from the first “security net“Set up in the summer, said the general rapporteur LR of the budget Jean-François Husson.

Simple and fair“, it would be open to all communities, while the government sets eligibility criteria (gross savings) deemed “too restrictive“. The general rapporteur has retained the method of calculating the compensation, which consists of linking the increase in energy expenditure and the increase in operating revenue. But he lowered the threshold beyond which the increase in energy expenditure would be borne half by the state.

The Minister in charge of Public Accounts Gabriel Attal underlined that “open the meshes of the net too muchcarried risks for public finances. The Minister recalled that this “security netwas supplemented, in the second part of the finance bill, by a “electricity damper“. “We have a multi-stage rocket that I think will be effective for 2023“, he said. A rocket at2.8 billion euros with the increase of 320 million in the overall operating grant (DGF)paid to local authorities, specified the minister. Gabriel Attal further indicated that the validated installments of the first “security net“approach”of the 4,000“. Far too little for the senators for whom the objective was to allow 22,000 municipalities to benefit from it.

Previously, the Senate had adopted, against the advice of the government and the rapporteur, a series of amendments aimed at raising the value of the DGF to the level of inflation, as requested by the Association of Mayors of France (AMF) and the Departments of France. Was also voted the extension of compensation for the benefit of the departments of the revaluation of the RSA. The Senate has also reinstated in the FCTVA – compensation fund for VAT – certain local authority investments that have become ineligible. The senators must complete on Thursday the examination in first reading of the articles of the part “receiptsof the draft budget for 2023. After having voted on this first part, the senators will be able to tackle the “expenses“.

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