Will the 2023 budget devote the return to budgetary normality, after texts on purchasing power which have again resulted in significant expenditure?
We are indeed going to begin, with the finance bill, a phase of budgetary normalization after whatever the cost linked to the Covid, the recovery plan and the anti-inflation shields. This phase should allow us to implement the presidential program for the five-year term, while meeting our objectives of gradually reducing the public deficit to return to 3% of GDP in 2027. This 2023 budget is the fuel that we are putting into the engine of the country to achieve full employment and protect the French.
How will this translate in terms of the evolution of expenditure?
Broad government spending will decline by 0.3% in volume terms next year. The off-print document that we are sending to Parliament on Monday reflects the arbitrations decided with the Prime Minister. It provides that State budget appropriations will amount to 339 billion euros in 2023, i.e. virtual stability in value compared to the level after the amending finance law, and a decrease of 2.5% in volume. This will make it possible to meet the objective of a deficit of 5% of GDP next year while financing our priorities.
What will be the main priorities next year?
There will be three priority “blocks”, corresponding to the three essential “drivers” of the five-year term: training and employment, the sovereign center and ecological transition. Credits for the first block concerning Education, Labor and Solidarity will increase by 12.5 billion euros, an unprecedented increase of 11.4%. The Employment budget will increase in particular by 6.7 billion, in particular to finance the rise of apprenticeship, with a target of 1 million apprentices by the end of the five-year term.
Will learning aids be further extended in 2023?
Necessary work to recalibrate aid will be undertaken, but support will remain massive.
Will a second Skills Investment Plan (SIP) be needed?
The Minister of Labor will speak on this point, but it is understood that the massive increase in the Employment budget will have to make it possible to continue financing training. All of this spending should contribute to consolidating our potential growth and achieving full employment. These are profitable investments for public finances.
What about National Education?
It will benefit from a historic increase (+3.6 billion) in its loans. The commitment of the President of the Republic on the continuation of the salary increase will be kept and no teacher will enter the career with less than 2,000 euros net. This is a first strong response to the issue of attractiveness of the teaching profession.
What credits for the “regular” block?
The budgets for Defence, Interior, Justice and Foreign Affairs will increase overall by 6.1 billion. A very significant increase that we assume in order to keep in particular the commitment of an increase of 3 billion of the credits of the Armies in 2023, but also the objectives of Beauvau of the security, which envisages the doubling of the presence of the forces of the order on the ground by 2030. The Justice budget will benefit from a further increase of 8%, after two years of increases of the same amounts, in order to continue recruiting new magistrates and to respect the plans for construction of new prison places.
What do you include in the environment block?
The Ministries of Environmental Transition, Territorial Cohesion and Agriculture will have an additional 3.3 billion euros. In particular, this involves accelerating the energy renovation of buildings and continuing to green the car fleet.
We have the impression that all the missions have priority… What will be the savings projects?
We act hard today so as not to have to suffer tomorrow. The president announced it: we will consult on reforms on pensions and unemployment insurance at the start of the school year, which will strengthen activity and contribute to the sustainability of our model. Each ministry is also committed to seeking savings within its scope. Ministers will have the opportunity to specify the reallocations of appropriations they undertake to better finance their priorities. In addition, we are reducing post-Covid recovery spending by 8 billion euros next year.
Should certain aids be targeted more?
Aid for the acquisition of clean vehicles will be geared more towards the most modest. Aid for thermal renovation should further support the overall renovation of “thermal sieves”. The expenses incurred must aim for the greatest efficiency.
How will the number of civil servants evolve in 2023?
The mandate sets a stability objective over the five-year period. This is an ambitious objective because we are immediately starting to strengthen the staff of the Ministry of Justice, the Interior and the Armed Forces.
Do we need more teaching posts to continue splitting classes?
We will complete the splitting of large section classes into priority education networks, as the president has promised.
Bercy will continue to lose staff…
We are still working on the employment plan. The Ministry of the Economy has been the main contributor to the decline in State staff in recent years thanks to modernization and digitization reforms, which will continue: a tax – the TV license fee – is first abolished, the unification of tax and social security collection will continue, as will the electronic invoicing project for businesses.
How will healthcare spending develop next year?
This will be debated as you know in PLFSS and not in PLF by parliamentarians. But I can confirm that health will be a priority and in particular the hospital. The stability program provides for a fall of 0.4% per year in volume of State expenditure over the five-year period, of 0.5% for local authorities but an increase of 0.6% above inflation for social security expenses. We will continue the massive investment in health with a high health insurance expenditure target (Ondam).
What efforts will be required of local authorities?
We obviously need them to continue to invest, and, with Christophe Béchu, we will meet the associations of elected officials at the start of the school year to define with them a spending trajectory over the five-year term, knowing that we are committed to stabilizing the allocations of the State, as during the previous five-year term.
Except that there is high inflation today, and therefore rising costs…
This also leads to a very strong increase in their income. Overall, local finances are in a very favorable situation, as the Court of Auditors points out. Their savings are 6% higher than in 2019, their cash has increased by 13 billion, and their revenues will increase this year, for example by around 8% for VAT. Of course, some are encountering difficulties, and we take this into account, as shown by the almost unanimous agreement found in Parliament providing for nearly 600 million in targeted aid.
Will the credits of the ministries arbitrated today be negotiable at the start of the school year? How will the new method that you promise apply with the oppositions?
These credit ceilings will be included in the finance bill, the documents of which are being prepared this summer for Parliament, but obviously, we will work upstream with the national representation, including with elected officials who are not in the majority. , as on the PLFR. The 2023 finance bill that we will present with Bruno Le Maire to Parliament in the fall will not be take-it-or-leave-it. We will have the same method of compromise, but we will also have the same red lines: no debt, no taxes.
Job creations are higher than expected, the results of large companies are at their highest: are you hoping for other tax and social capital gains?
The information I have for June and July reflects strong dynamism in receipts, which is good news consistent with the rebound in growth observed. The latest Urssaf data are also very positive: the number of hires is still up 2.9% in the second quarter, and 9.6% over one year for industry. Thanks to this, the payroll increased by 11% over one year. This is a decisive element for the financing of social protection, and it demonstrates that support for business competitiveness, training and employment bears fruit.