EXCLUSIVE - In 2022, public finances will be in equilibrium and not in a slight surplus of 0.3 point of GDP, as previously planned. And again, not to mention the recovery of the debt of the SNCF.
A fiscal gift financed by the deficit, as in the old world ... The Philippe government finally decided to finance total removal of the housing tax by letting a little more than expected the public deficit, we learn from reading the report preparatory to the policy debate of public finances, which Le Figaro has known. The extension of the suppression of the local tax from 80% to 100% of the households, decided last summer, will cost 10,5 billion euros to the State, as compensation to be paid to the local authorities, which collect the housing tax.
A small part (between 2.5 and 3 billion euros) of this tax relief will be financed by maintaining the equivalent of a housing tax on second homes and vacant housing. The rest, about 6.5 billion according to Bercy's latest calculations, will be financed by the additional public deficit. "The trajectory retains the abolition of the tax by the end of the five-year period, taking into account at this stage, as the underlying assumption, the maintenance of a taxation of second homes," says the government in its report.
In detail, the deficit targets from 2020 to 2022 have been revised upwards compared to the stability program sent to the European Commission in April (-1.1% of GDP in 2020 instead of -0.9%, -0.6% in 2021 against -0.3%, and finally 0% in leu of + 0.3%). The only exception to this upward revision, the year 2019, where the deficit will be slightly lower than expected (-2.3% instead of -2.4%).
"The revised trajectory remains in line with the presidential commitment to reduce by three points the weight of the public debt in GDP, five points debt and a point of compulsory levies," says Bercy. And, compared to the starting point, which is the public finance programming law presented last autumn, there is no deterioration in our objectives. "
The deficit could be revised up again
Note that this new trajectory does not take into account the recovery of SNCF's debt. However, this operation should increase the deficit by an additional 2 to 3 billion euros, that is, by about 0.1 percentage point of GDP. "Following this reclassification, SNCF Réseau's annual deficit would be added to the general government deficit, which would increase it from € 2bn to € 3bn according to the current estimate," is it also written? in the preparatory report to the policy debate on public finances. However, "pending a final decision by the national accounting officer on the treatment to be applied to SNCF Réseau, and given the extent of the uncertainty, the choice was made not to attribute the recovery to an arbitrary date. debt on the path of public finances ".
The deficit trajectory should therefore be further modified in September, when the draft budget for 2019 is presented. The growth and inflation assumptions should also be revised, at least in 2018.
The editorial advises you:
- Court of Auditors doubts Macron's plan to restore public finances
- Abolition of the housing tax: the mystery of financing remains
Taxation, state budget, local finances