Public deficit falling: will be ‘well behind’ 4.9% of GDP target in 2023, says Le Maire

Enough to justify cuts in public spending. This Wednesday, while facing questions from MPs and senators alongside Public Accounts Minister Thomas Cazenave this afternoon, Bruno Le Maire indicated that the public deficit would be ” well above 4.9% » in 2023, in other words beyond the target set by the government. The reason is lower tax revenues. These are related to the economic slowdown, which has an impact especially on the amount of VAT collected by the state. We recall that France recently lowered its growth forecast for 2024 to 1%, compared to 1.4% in the original budget.

Read also France: growth at half-mast, public deficit fears… Bruno Le Maire announces cuts in state spending

savings of 10 billion euros

In an interview with Le Monde, the economy minister insisted that he wants to reduce public spending, hence the recent announcement of 10 billion budget cuts in 2024, which “They are not a plane strike, but an emergency brake These cuts, which focus mainly on environmental transformation, work or education, should allow the government to meet its goal of reducing the public deficit to 4.4% of gross domestic product in 2024, all under the watchful eye of the agencies. looks at France’s debt.

“At some point, we simply have to cool down the machine as growth suffers from the new geopolitical environment and tax revenues are reduced. When we earn less, we spend less,” argued Bruno Le Maire.

Additional savings of twelve billion euros

He reiterated that this spending cut was only the first step before a possible ” if necessary in the summer amending the Finance Bill », then additional savings of at least 12 billion euros need to be found in 2025.

The austerity plan was approved by decree rather than through a draft Amending Finance Law (PLFR), which would oblige the government to submit these ten billion cuts to parliament for approval, a dangerous exercise at a time when the presidential camp only has a relative majority. in the National Assembly.

In the longer term, Bruno Le Maire on Wednesday recalled the goal of “returning to a deficit below 3%” in 2027, saying he was aiming for a “balanced budget in 2032”, which “we haven’t known since 1974.

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