“It’s a financial tsunami that will happen to us”, alert Christophe Dietrich, LR mayor of Laigneville in the Oise, guest Thursday, September 15 on franceinfo. He appeals to the support of the State, “maybe tax breaks, maybe less things to pay”he suggests, to deal with rising energy prices and inflation. “Very small communities are entitled to the tariff shield but medium-sized communities are entitled to absolutely nothing”, he laments, while Gabriel Attal, the Minister of Action and Public Accounts, mentions on franceinfo a device of 430 million euros to help the 6,000 largest municipalities which do not benefit from the tariff shield on energy. Not informed, Christophe Dietrich says “pay full price”.
franceinfo: Do you denounce the fact of not being entitled to the government’s tariff shield on energy prices?
Christophe Dietrich, LR mayor of Laigneville: Very small communities are entitled to the tariff shield but medium-sized communities are entitled to absolutely nothing. Gabriel Attal speaks of a device of around 500 million euros implemented for the municipalities but I have not received any message from the prefecture, nor from the government telling me that there was such a device. Today I pay full pot.
Have you seen your expenses skyrocket?
To give you an example, on May 31 I paid as much electricity as for the whole of 2021. Last year, I paid 93,000 euros in gas to heat my buildings, in particular my buildings linked to the childhood and early childhood. If I do the math compared to what is happening in companies today, without a price shield, potentially, I can spend 93,000 to 930,000 euros in expenses next year, or 10 times more. This is not tenable. At some point we will no longer be able to run canteens, leisure centers, extracurricular activities and support our inhabitants at a time when they will need us the most.
Are there already consequences for your constituents?
Yes. In the canteen, for example, I only take children whose two parents work or one parent if it’s a single-parent family. I don’t have the capacity, given what I’m going to pay, to be able to hire additional staff. You should know that when I babysit a child between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., meal included, it costs me 13.43 euros per day and per child, but I only charge families 3.70 euros because we have a social role . But today, this social role, I can no longer hold it. That’s what’s terrible. Especially since there is no miracle solution. Whatever savings measures we will take in our municipalities, the result will be perfectly marginal compared to the financial tsunami that will befall us.
What do you expect from the government?
We ask for state support, maybe tax breaks, maybe less things to pay. You should know that our overall operating grants have increased. Our cash inflows are the same, but our costs are exploding. We simply want to be able to support our population during the period of food shortage that we are going to have and, unfortunately, we are not guaranteed that.
Do you feel worried among your inhabitants, despite the energy check and the measures announced by the government?
I have quite a few constituents who are just over the limit, they will not receive an energy check and they find themselves in a complicated situation today. This morning, I had in my office a civil servant from the town hall who explained to me that she could no longer eat from the 15th of the month. There is a real problem. The energy check will leave people by the wayside, especially those who are a little above the ceilings. They may be making a little better living, but they have no protection. They are the ones who pay the tax, who work, who bear the brunt of all the increases. It’s not audible, for them it’s a double jeopardy. The real danger today is that we have a middle class that is impoverishing at breakneck speed.