Public debt, Bercy wants to cut back on spending

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The Minister of Economy, Bruno Le Maire insists: “The whatever the cost is over. » In an interview at Sunday newspaperhe said that the review of general government expenditure, announced earlier this month, will begin in the coming days, under the authority of the Prime Minister.

While the Finance Committee has just started examining the draft law on pensions, the government also wants to sift through all the expenses of its central and local administrations. “As of the 2024 budget, we will be able to program significant spending cuts”he points out.

Debt burden

The little music has been blown by Bercy for several months, while the debt should pass the symbolic milestone of 3,000 billion euros. The debt, which already represented 97% of GDP in 2019, has increased with the measures taken during and after the Covid crisis. With the slowdown in growth, it now stands at 113% of GDP.

However, for several months, the increase in rates on ten-year loans has increased the debt burden: while France was borrowing at 0% at the start of 2022, these long rates now stand at 2.6%. According to Bercy, the interest could represent 60 billion euros in 2027, against 42 billion for the year 2022.

Even if for the time being, inflation acts as a shock absorber: “In the short term, inflation compensates for this annual charge, decreasing the value of money over time: the real interest rate is negative.analyzed in a December post Sébastien Boch, economist at the firm Asteres. However, when inflation is expected to come down, by 2024-2025, the interest rates on loans currently contracted will be felt more. »

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Ecological transition

On the one hand, the government wants “lower the debt from 2026 and bring the public deficit below 3% in 2027”. On the other, Bruno Le Maire wishes to be reassuring: “We maintain protection against soaring energy prices, for the French of course, but also for our industries, our artisans, our bakeries. »

No amount or leads have been announced by the Minister of the Economy, with the exception of the question of tax advantages favorable to fossil fuels. “For example, we cannot want to decarbonize our economy and maintain [c] are advantages. »

Tax shelters, subsidies: in its last “green budget”, the state had estimated its unfavorable spending on the climate at 7.6 billion euros. The Institute for Climate Economics (I4CE) for its part calculated that depending on the methodology chosen, the estimate could be re-evaluated at 19 billion euros.

In comparison, the Minister of the Economy estimates that it will be necessary to inject between 60 and 70 billion additional euros per year into the ecological transition, also by mobilizing private funds.

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