The government wants to give priority to the king... without ignoring the consequences of the health crisis

Priority is “at the heart of the state’s tasks”. The government wants to focus spending increases on the monarchy in 2022. Although presidential “whatever the cost” should be phased out by the end of the year, after more than a year of the pandemic, ministries will see their envelopes swell by nearly as much as the economy minister, Bruno Le Maire, announced 10.8 billion euros next year, by opening the debate on fiscal guidance on Thursday in the ‘National Assembly’. This is equivalent to the increase already recorded in 2021.

“We have given us the privilege (…) of armies, justice, police, education and research,” the minister emphasized, with nine months of presidential elections. But his colleague from the public accounts department, Olivier Dusupt, acknowledged that arbitration was “difficult to achieve”: 2022 will be “a year of continued recovery”, “a year of reforms” and “a year that will signal a return to normalization of public spending”.

The most ministries of defense and education are gifts

On the right, the Chairman of the Finance Committee, Eric Worth (LR), denounced “slippage” and “compromise.” In the end, Bruno Le Maire replied that “half of these new expenditures are the result of programming laws, and therefore laws of investment in the sovereign activities of the state.”

The budget for both defense and education will rise by 1.7 billion euros next year, in particular to fund the increase in teachers’ salaries. Increasing the budget for research and higher education by 900 million euros; allocated to security tasks, amounting to 800 million euros; And justice is 700 million euros. Conversely, budgets for most other ministries will stabilize next year.

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Continuation of the recovery plan

The other half of the increase in spending will go to “support” in the face of the crisis, for example for loans guaranteed by the state, “emergency housing, or the extension of a university ticket to one euro”, Bruno Le Maire said. Added to this is the continuation of the stimulus plan, with an additional 2 billion euros allocated in particular to the housing renewal bonus, and the financing of measures announced Monday evening by Emmanuel Macron, such as commitment income for young or new. investment plan.

In all, public spending should grow another 1.5% next year, just over what executives envisioned in the spring in the stabilization program I took to Brussels. Olivier Dusupt emphasized that the government workforce would remain stable over the entire five-year period, far from the target of 50,000 civil servants cut at the start of the five-year period, which was already abandoned in 2019.

neoliberal ideology

And unemployment insurance reform should make it possible to ease spending a little, as well as reform the state’s purchasing policy. On the left, Communist MPs Karen Lebon and rebellious Sabine Rubin have criticized the government for its “neoliberal ideology” aimed at reforming the unemployment insurance system. Socialist Valerie Rabo called an investment plan “readable” after the “comprehensive” recovery plan.

In the majority, budget rapporteur Laurent Saint-Martin (LREM) presented 2022 as a “pivotal year” to “celebrate the end of “whatever its costs” and “prepare” in the “medium term” to control public spending with the goal of reducing the debt ratio by 2027.

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