Public finances: the Court of Accounts crawls Holland

The charge is severe for Holland. According to the Court of Auditors’ verdict on the 2017 budget, the former president disguised the dramatic state of public finances before handing over to Emmanuel Macron. “We inherit a slippage of 8 billion euros, it is as if the previous government had built a budget without that of Justice. This is three times the budget of Culture. 8 billion unfunded promises, wooden checks, “lambasted Philippe, after receiving the audit on public finances from the hands of Didier Migaud, the first president of the Court.

As in 2007 and 2012, the new executive commissioned this report to the financial magistrates in order to prepare the 2018 budget. While no macroeconomic shock has disturbed the assumptions of the previous forecasts, the Court estimates that 8 to 9 billion euros are missing from the state budget to reach the announced target of a deficit of 2.8% of GDP. To be content to strictly respect European commitments, ie to post a deficit of 3%, the effort will be 4 to 5 billion.

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3% is the goal that the Philippe government is now setting. Following a classic political dramaturgy, the Prime Minister rebounded on this “unacceptable” legacy to firmly commit to finally contain the drift of public finances. He will announce in the coming weeks measures of savings.

Sincerity affected

Most of the slippage noted by the Court can be explained by an underestimation of State expenditure. “Construction bias has affected the sincerity of the initial budget law and the stability program,” sent each year to the European Commission, denounce in particular the authors of the audit. The term “sincerity” used is particularly cumbersome since a budget deemed insincere by the Constitutional Council can be invalidated. “What do you call recurrent and known underbudgeting at the time they are decided?” Didier Migaud stressed, while stressing that all his predecessors had already denounced the lack of sincerity of certain forecasts.

In detail, magistrates expect revenues of 2 billion less than the original target. In particular, an overestimation of remittances of capital hitherto held abroad. On the expenditure side, the only recapitalization of Areva, not counted by the previous executive, would cost 2.3 billion. Expenditure overruns of the state would amount to 3.6 billion.

According to the Court of Auditors, the government will be able to reduce the deficit in the nails by canceling “all the measures of increase of public expenditure not yet implemented” and by deciding “measures of savings covering all the administrations public. ” The effort will be considerable, especially as the Court has already incorporated in its calculations, 2.5 billion credit cancellations in its 3.2% target. Didier Migaud also took advantage of his meeting with the Prime Minister to denounce the immoderate use by all the latest governments of these short-term management practices: “There is a problem of credibility. We can freeze the credits, freeze them. At one point, the freezer is full! “He amused himself.

The equation for 2018 looks even more complicated. By that time, the previous government had committed to reducing the deficit to 2.3% of GDP. The Court of Auditors gives no credit to this projection. On the sole perimeter of the State, “the factors of increase of the wage bill and other expenses should in 2018 pull up State expenditures for an amount between 6.8 and 9.1 billion euros, or 8 billion euros in an average assumption, corresponding to nearly 0.4 point of GDP, “warn judges. And this, without taking into account the campaign promises of candidate Macron (removal of the housing tax, ISF reform, transformation of the CICE …) whose addition is close to 32 billion euros (our editions of the June 15). Moreover,