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the Minister for Communities works to reassure the municipalities

In the aftermath of strong criticism from the Local Finance Committee (CFL), the Ministry in charge of Local Authorities responded to local elected officials on Tuesday and detailed the measures targeting municipalities in the draft budget for 2023.

The government has received associations of elected officials several times to hear them on the various reform projects, recalled the entourage of Minister Caroline Cayeux in an interview with AFP.

Faced with criticism from the CFL on the supervision by the state of the operating expenses of communities, the minister ensures that he favors a logic of collective trust rather than individual control.

In concrete terms, it is on the scale of an entire stratum (departments, regions or municipal block) that compliance with the objective of controlling operating expenditure will now be assessed.

A logic of collective trust

For example, if you have one, two or more departments that did not meet their target, but at the scale of 100 departments the target is met, there will be no consequences for the worst students. , we explain to the minister.

In the coming years, the state plans to limit the increase in the operating costs of local authorities to a level below 0.5 point of the annual inflation rate.

If at the end of the year the account is not there at the scale of a stratum, we open the hood and we try to identify the communities which are responsible for the non-respect of the objective and there will be a sanction on these only, details the government in response to the CFL, which on Monday accused the state of forging with local elected officials pacts of mistrust rather than trust.

Affected by inflation (close to 6% over one year in recent months), between 28,000 and 30,000 municipalities will be able to benefit in 2023 from the 15% cap on the rise in the price of electricity, insisted the minister.

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To cover the increase in energy and food expenditure, as well as the salary increases of their agents, certain local authorities will be supported via the safety net of 430 million euros voted this summer.

The payment of the aid will however be subject to two criteria: the financial situation of the communities on January 1, 2022 and the 25% drop in their gross savings between 2021 and 2022.

The 430 million euros of credit are not restrictive, added the minister.

If three times more municipalities than expected must be compensated, it is not 430 million, but a billion, we will pay a billion, he says.

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