Public deficit: taxes, superprofits, savings… what to remember from Bruno Le Maire’s speech

As the final figure for the public deficit for 2023 approaches, which will be announced on Tuesday by INSEE, and which predicts significant savings, tension is increasing again. The Minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, indicated this Friday that the Government will tax energy companies as planned but that “it will not do more than that”, a few hours after the president of the National Assembly was open to tax big companies. in case of “super profits”.

“In this budget there will be a recovery of sales that energy companies could have made (…) no more than that,” he told BFMTV, estimating “that it is not about deviating from our line of economic policy.” which has produced results, which are very good”, to encourage business activity, in particular by lowering their taxes, in the hope that they will hire.

Where to find 20 billion euros?

A few hours earlier, in France Bleu Lorraine, the president of the Assembly “started to think about whether there is an exceptional capacity that we could have to increase State income.” “We don’t want French taxes to increase. That said, I am in favor of observing when there are super dividends, super profits and massive share buybacks by companies,” defended Yaël Braun-Pivet.

Therefore, the deficit should “significantly” exceed the 4.9% of GDP planned by the Government, Bruno Le Maire warned at the beginning of March, immediately recording 10 billion savings. But the possibility that the deficit to be covered reaches 5.6%, as stated by the Senate budget rapporteur, who visited Bercy this Thursday, gives cold sweat to the majority and arms to the opposition.

On Wednesday, the President of the Republic gathered six ministers and their majority executives at the Elysée, suggesting that local authorities could be asked to contribute. We’ll probably have to find 20 billion more. EITHER ? On Thursday, government spokesperson Prisca Thévenot ruled out deindexing retirement pensions from inflation. She also, like Bruno Le Maire this Friday, refuted any new tax imposition. The Minister of Economy also presented Defense as a preserved area, in the context of the war in Ukraine.

This Friday, during his press conference after the European summit, Emmanuel Macron also confirmed that it will be necessary to “complete” the budget effort in the face of “the deterioration of public finances.”

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