“Everything is not possible, simply because we have reached the alert level on public finances”, declared the Minister of Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty Bruno Le Maire, on the antenna of BFMTV, this June 27. He added that “the financing conditions” had changed and that today France borrowed “at more than 2%” to finance public expenditure, when it did so recently at negative or very low rates.
Asked about the proposal made by several opposition parties, such as Les Républicains or the National Rally, for a reduction in fuel tax, Bruno Le Maire assured that the government was going to “discuss” with these formations but that “the spirit of compromise [devait] be accompanied by a spirit of decision”.
“Additional spending of around 20 or 25 billion euros on fuel, as some political formations are proposing, they are too expensive, or else we will have to give up other things,” he said. .
According to INSEE, French public debt exceeded 2,900 billion euros at the end of the third quarter, or 114.5% of GDP, also due to sluggish economic growth. It is not this amount that “concerns” the Minister, but the fact that financing conditions have changed for France, with the rise in interest rates which has begun and will continue, the European Central Bank seeking to reduce inflation.
“Part of the debt burden is indexed to inflation,” notably recalled the minister, specifying that this represented several billion additional euros to be repaid each year. “My job as Minister of Finance is to return to balanced public finances by 2027”, also declared the tenant of Bercy before adding: “Politics is choices […] It is imperative to reduce public debt [mais] at the same time, we must protect our compatriots who are the most fragile, but protect them responsibly”.
“We will have to decide within a framework which is constrained, which is that of our public finances”, he insisted, also confirming the cap at 3.5% of the increase in rents, as well as a revaluation of 3 .5% of APL.