Soaring prices and the conflict in Ukraine are once again disrupting the government’s fiscal calendar. Bercy transmitted to parliamentarians, Friday, March 25, an “advance decree” allowing the urgent release of nearly 6 billion euros in credits, to finance the recent announcements of support for the purchasing power of households and businesses in a context of rising inflation, but also the reception of displaced persons arriving in France.
This possibility, given by the budgetary texts – an advance decree of 7 billion euros had been used at the beginning of May 2021, in order to adjust the measures to support the economy in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic – , allows the government not to reconvene Parliament, while legislative work is suspended, two weeks before the first round of the presidential election, on April 10.
It is also a way of avoiding a new debate on the expenses incurred by candidate President Macron, while support for purchasing power has now reached 26 billion euros since September 2021, and that the Minister of economy, Bruno Le Maire, and his counterpart in public accounts, Olivier Dussopt, refuse to compare the current period to the “whatever the cost” that prevailed for two years.
However, since the announcements of the last few weeks, certain envelopes devoted to the measures have increased significantly. Thus, the discount of 15 cents per liter at the pump announced on March 12 by Jean Castex, and which was to cost “just over 2 billion euros” before being revised to 2.8 billion, will in fact represent some 3 billion euros of loans. “We have refined the measurement, and the scope of the fuels concerned has widened (natural gas vehicle, LPG, LNG, certain biofuels, etc.)”, we detail in Bercy. The Prime Minister had however indicated from the start that the discount would be valid for all fuels. The discount will even be increased to 18 cents for metropolitan drivers, a difference which is explained by the amount of VAT applied in the various French territories, according to AFP.
No tabling of amendments or voting
On the other hand, the business component of the resilience plan, intended to support those which consume a lot of energy and which the rise in prices could make loss-making, is no longer quantified at only 1.5 billion euros, against the 3 billion announced on March 16. “It was a cost over the whole year, but the measure only runs until the end of July, which will give the next government the freedom to do what they want afterwards”we assure Bercy.
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