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Budget 2019: the scrambled message of the executive

Olivier Dussopt, Secretary of State, Stephane Travert, Minister of Agriculture, Bruno Le Maire, Minister of Economy, and Gérald Darmanin, Minister of Public Accounts, at the Elysée, 22 August.

In its finance bill, the government promises 6 billion tax cuts for households in a context of low growth.

This was to be an extension of the exercise carried out a year earlier. A budget in continuity with the major axes of Emmanuel Macron’s policy. But the bill of finance (PLF) for 2019, presented Monday, September 24, in cabinet, is part of a degraded environment for the executive. After a little more than a year of exercise of power, which enabled him to unfold the main reforms promised during the presidential campaign (ordinances work, learning, right of asylum, SNCF …), the good budgetary star of the chief of the state has faded.

On the economic front, the weather has been hedged: growth should slow down in 2018 (+ 1.7%) after a significant rebound in 2017 (+ 2.2%). It is therefore to a recipe that has proved successful that the government had to resort to “sell” its budget: launch some shock figures and press the tax cuts for the French. Bruno Le Maire and his counterpart of public accounts, Gérald Darmanin, had to insist on the 6 billion euros of tax cuts which households, according to them, will benefit in 2019.

On the face of it, this calculation actually aggregates several measures, some of which – like the rise in the CSG offset in two parts by the lower contributions – were already present in the 2018 budget, but have not yet had their full effects. .

Another accounting facility: the government integrates the savings made by the 300,000 retirees who will not have to pay any increase in CSG, but does not take into account the shortfall resulting from the non-indexation of social benefits and pensions. OFCE researchers, a think tank ranked on the left, evoke, them, rather a gain of 3.5 billion for the French, almost half less than the figure advanced by the executive.

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