The savings to be made on the State and Social Security budgets must reach “at least 20 billion euros” in 2025, and no longer the 12 billion envisaged so far, the Minister for Public Accounts announced on Wednesday. Thomas Cazenave. “Given the 2023 results” of public finances and “the revision of our growth forecasts in 2024”, lowered from 1.4% to 1%, “I must tell you in transparency that (…) we must probably increase our effort from twelve to at least 20 billion euros in additional savings,” announced during a hearing at the National Assembly the minister, who came with the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire to present the cancellation of ten billion euros in state credits for 2024.

The 20 billion will relate next year to both the State and Social Security. “The cancellations” this year “are only a first step,” warned Thomas Cazenave, considering that “we have entered a new context of public finances marked by a less favorable economic situation and high interest rates.” “We already know that the public deficit target of 4.9% – in 2023 – will be significantly exceeded,” he confirmed.

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The minister, however, stressed that the obligation to adjust the state budget by ten billion euros in 2024 – cancellations which must be permanent, he insisted – came from lower revenues in 2023 compared to forecasts, but that spending was “held”, with “six billion euros less spending”. He indicated that the State had “collected 7.7 billion euros” less revenue than expected last year, including 4.4 billion euros less in corporate taxes, 1.4 billion less VAT, 1.4 billion less income tax.

Like Bruno Le Maire before him, he however considered that the savings of 2024 “are not an austerity cure”. “We are in no way renouncing our ecological ambition (…) we are not calling into question the priority numbers in public services or for the protection of the French, we respect the commitments of the laws for programming the armies, the interior, research, we are not calling into question the priority projects of national education,” he listed. “We are not stopping our support for the development of public development assistance,” he also affirmed.