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France plans to reduce aid to businesses and medical expenses – 11/16/2023 at 8:14 p.m.

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne

The French government is seeking to cut business aid and medical spending as part of a plan that aims to save 12 billion euros from 2025, government sources said on Thursday.

Elisabeth Borne’s government intends to reduce French public spending – the largest in the world relative to the size of its economy – to meet its objective of reducing the budget deficit.

The 2024 finance bill, currently being examined in Parliament, provides for savings of 16 billion euros, notably through the end of the price shield on electricity and gas.

Elisabeth Borne announced to ministers on Thursday that their mission would be to identify expenditure items where it is possible to save 12 billion euros from 2025, the sources said.

Several business support funds and medical expenditure items have been identified, while others could emerge during future meetings, they added.

Public support for businesses costs 110 billion euros per year between subsidies and tax reductions.

“We are waiting for (the mission) to propose to us eliminations, reductions in aid which would be considered the least effective, the least virtuous and the most redundant,” said one of the sources.

The government also wants to reduce medical spending by cutting subsidies on more than 80,000 medical products, a second source said.

France has committed to its European Union partners to reduce its public deficit below 3% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2027.

(Leigh Thomas; French version by Zhifan Liu)

Gn Fr France

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