“Difficult to detect a common thread in the French budget for 2023”

“It is not a budget of rigor, of facility, but a responsible and protective budget, in times of great uncertainty. » Monday, September 26, by presenting the finance bill (PLF) for 2023 before the finance committee of the National Assembly, Bruno Le Maire set the tone. It must be said that, between the continuation of the war in Ukraine, the surge in energy prices, the confinements in China and the risks of recession in the United States and Germany, the second five-year term of Emmanuel Macron opens in a very different economic climate from that of 2017.

The Minister of the Economy has explained in vain that he wants to strike a balance between protecting the French people and restoring public finances, and defending “the economic line which is the [sienne] : labor compensation, growth and investment »difficult to detect a common thread in the budget for 2023: in a context of high inflation, almost all the ministries have seen their envelopes inflated, contrary to the need for “choice” often defended by the tenant of Bercy to carry out effective policies.

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The 45 billion euros of the tariff shield, although difficult to dispute in view of the increase in gas and electricity bills, undermine the idea of ​​the end of “whatever the cost” yet stubbornly defended by the executive. As for the postponement for one year of the total abolition of the contribution on the added value of companies, it blurs for the first time the pro-business message which was the trademark of the Head of State.

Late revision of the growth forecast

The oppositions have not failed to rush into the breach. “It is not very reassuring that the pilots of the plane anticipate so little a global environment that everyone knows is complicated”criticized Eric Coquerel, the president (LFI) of the finance committee, in reference to the late revision of the growth forecast for 2023 (1% now). “The ‘whatever it takes’ may be achieved in another way, but it continues. It is disappointing and worrying”reacted the deputy Véronique Louwagie, leader of the elected Les Républicains to the finance committee.

Even the Medef, whose members had long applauded Mr. Le Maire during their summer universities at the end of August, issued a severe press release: regretting a “addiction to public spending”the employers’ organization stressed that current expenditure (excluding the crisis) would increase by “more than 62 billion euros in 2023” and lamented that “France continues to live beyond its means”.

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