The “protection” of the French against inflation, “priority” of the government

The Minister of Economy Bruno Le Maire makes a statement, alongside Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne and Gabriel Attal, during the handover to the Ministry of Economy and Finance, on May 21, 2022 in Paris (AFP / Eric PIERMONT)

The “priority” of the new government will be the “protection of the French against inflation”, close to 5% over one year in April, assured Saturday in Paris the number 2 of the executive Bruno Le Maire.

“As of tomorrow (Sunday, editor’s note) we will therefore get down to (…) the preparation of the bill on purchasing power”, affirmed the Minister of Economy and Finance, reappointed on Friday with an expanded portfolio after a first five-year term at Bercy.

“I will receive economic players on Monday to study with them how they can also participate in the protection of the French against rising prices”, he added on the occasion of the transfer of power to the Ministry of Public Accounts, a portfolio now held by Gabriel Attal, who succeeds Olivier Dussopt.

Bruno Le Maire cited several levers to improve the purchasing power of the French: “Macron” bonus, wage increases.

“Inflation is obviously our first political and economic challenge. Inflation at nearly 5% is always too much,” lamented the minister who holds the longevity record at Bercy.

“But I remind you that it is almost 8% in Germany, almost 9% in Spain and more than 11% in the Netherlands”, he immediately nuanced.

To counter the soaring prices linked in particular to the war in Ukraine, the previous government has already spent 26 billion.

An amending budget, which must include purchasing power measures (general increase in civil servants, food vouchers, increases in pensions and social minima in particular), will be presented after the legislative elections on 12th and 19th June.

Despite these new expenses that are coming, “the control of public accounts is part of the DNA of our majority”, at the same time affirmed Bruno Le Maire.

Inflation in France since 2017

Inflation in France since 2017 (AFP/Sylvie HUSSON)

“The expenses that we commit” for purchasing power “will not prevent us from respecting the commitments of the President of the Republic on the reduction of the public debt and the reduction of the deficits”.

A major challenge since the deficit was still 6.5% of GDP at the end of 2021 and the public debt 112.9%, due to the health crisis linked to Covid-19.

© 2022 AFP

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