In-article:

the Senate strengthens the safety net for communities

The right-wing majority Senate simplified and expanded, overnight from Wednesday to Thursday, the “safety net” proposed by the government in the 2023 draft budget to compensate for the increase in community energy expenditure.

The device adopted by the senators, against the advice of the government, takes into account the insufficiencies noted after the fact of the first safety net set up in the summer, affirmed the general rapporteur LR of the budget Jean-Franois 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 compensation calculation method, which consists of relating the increase in energy expenditure to the increase in operating revenue. But he lowered the threshold beyond which the rise in energy expenditure would be borne half by the state.

The Minister in charge of Public Accounts Gabriel Attal underlined that opening the meshes of the net too much entailed risks for public finances.

The minister recalled that this safety net was completed, in the second part of the finance bill, with an electricity shock absorber.

We have a multi-stage rocket that I think will be effective for 2023, he said. A rocket of 2.8 billion euros with the increase of 320 million in the overall operating grant (DGF) paid to the communities, said the minister.

Gabriel Attal further indicated that the installments validated for the first safety net are approaching 4,000. Far too little for the senators for whom the objective was to allow 22,000 municipalities to benefit from it.

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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 reincorporated into the FCTVA – compensation fund for VAT – certain local authority investments that have become ineligible.

The senators must complete Thursday the examination in first reading of the articles of the revenue part of 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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