What to do with the 40% of Livret A and Sustainable and Solidarity Development Booklet (LDDS) funds not dedicated to social housing? After several unsuccessful attempts in Parliament, the Senate voted again on Tuesday to direct part of the Livret A savings towards the defense industry, affected by financing difficulties reinforced by the Ukrainian context. “The military and industrial tool must be able to face any threat to peace and stability. This is not really the case today,” said Les Républicains senator Pascal Allizard, author of this bill adopted by 244 votes to 34.

The text proposes to direct part of the outstanding Booklet A and the Sustainable and Solidarity Development Booklet (LDDS) towards the financing of companies in the French defense industry. A similar measure had already been adopted in Parliament in recent months, but the Constitutional Council had censored it twice, judging it to be unrelated to the texts to which it had been added.

The senatorial right hopes to see it finally result in this dedicated text, even if this will require the National Assembly to take it up. An almost identical bill will also be supported on March 14 by the deputies of the Horizons group. The Minister for Business, Olivia Grégoire, nevertheless offered a mixed reception to this proposal, believing that “the instrument (was) not the most appropriate”. While promising that Bercy would bring together financial players, investors and defense industrialists “in the summer” for a “major event” on financing the sector.

Socialist senator Rachid Temal defended another vision: that of a dedicated product – the “Sovereignty defense savings account” -, synonymous according to him with more “clarity and transparency”. But the Senate rejected it. Environmentalists and communists were more severe. “You want to finance the gun sellers by taking from the booklet with which the French thought they would finance housing or sustainable development,” worried the ecologist Thomas Dossus.

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Nearly 60% of Livret A and LDSS funds are in fact dedicated to social housing, but the rest – non-centralized savings precisely targeted by the text – is dedicated to SMEs, the energy transition or even the economy social and supportive. Several favorable parliamentarians insisted on the “urgency” imposed by the Ukrainian context. “It is an effective short-term solution to accelerate the transition to a real war economy,” argued Vanina Paoli-Gagin (the center-right group Les Indépendants).