For the Court of Auditors, the State still spends too much

THE ECO SCAN – The Court of Auditors is worried about the increase in the deficit and the debt. And disputes the decline in spending posted by the government.

This year again, the is not tender with the government in its, presented this Wednesday before the finance committee of the National Assembly. , the first president of the institution, notes that the decline in the state deficit, which began in 2010, “was interrupted” last year, with an increase of 10.7 billion euros.

As for the receipts, lower by 9 billion to the initial forecasts, they fell sharply, which “raises, as in 2013, although to a lesser degree, the question of the quality and the sincerity of the evaluations of tax receipts”, insist the Sages of the rue Cambon. At the same time, the Court estimates that spending has been stabilized, but by using tricks, while the debt burden has fallen by 1.7 billion. The government says it fell by 3.3 billion.

Here are the other figures of the State in 2014, scrutinized by the Court of Auditors.

• 85.6 billion euros deficit

The started to rise again last year (by nearly 11 billion compared to 2013), while it has been decreasing since 2010. Being at a “high” level according to the Court, it is more than “twice as high. than before the crisis ”(38.4 billion in 2007). And represents more than 3 months of expenditure of the general budget. For the senior magistrates, the exceptional expenses – in particular the second PIA (program of investments for the future) – are not enough to explain the worsening of the budget deficit. Even without these expenses, but taking into account the sums collected on behalf of the State by its operators for PIAs, it worsened by 5.5 billion.

Growth and inflation, weaker than expected, also weighed heavily on the deficit, which was 3 billion higher than the initial forecast. But achievement of the target was “compromised by optimistic revenue forecasts and late adjustments in spending,” the report adds.

• 1,528 billion euros in debt

The state’s debt continued to grow at a “sustained rate”, by 71 billion, going from 1457 billion at the end of 2013 to 1528 billion at the end of 2014. Thanks to the low interest rates, the debt burden (43, 2 billion), however, fell by 1.7 billion compared to 2013.

The Court estimates that to stabilize the weight of the debt in the GDP, the budget deficit should have been limited to 11 billion, that is to say 7 times less than that observed.

• – 9.7 billion in tax revenue

The competitiveness and employment tax credit () has certainly reduced revenue from businesses by 6.5 billion, but the government had forecast a shortfall of 9.8 billion. Regarding households, the tax gesture for the poorest cost 1.3 billion.

Problem, the net (274.3 billion) were again lower than the initial forecasts, 10 billion. This is partly explained by weaker growth than expected, but also by “an initial assumption of elasticity of tax revenues to GDP growth which lacked prudence”, tackle the Wise Men.

However, taxpayers also had to undergo tax increases: 2 billion for the lowering of the cap and the abolition of; 1.2 billion for the abolition of the exemption of; or 4.9 billion VAT increase.

• Stabilization of expenditure

The government estimates that the State’s losses have fallen by 3.3 billion compared to 2013. But according to the Court’s calculations, if we take into account the disbursements for PIAs by operators on behalf of the ‘State (3.3 billion), they were once again “stabilized”, as in 2013. This constitutes “progress compared to previous periods when it was appreciably worse”, underlines Didier Migaud. Excluding the debt burden and pensions, however, spending edged down to $ 850 million.

The report notes in particular that the, continue to increase (+ 1%).

Moreover, “as in previous years”, these expenses were contained by cancellations of credits during the year (blows of planes) “more than by lasting and structural savings”, deplore the senior magistrates.

Especially since, “to keep the commitments, it would be necessary to go beyond a clear stability of the expenditure”, underlines Didier Migaud.

• 730 million slippage on military operations abroad (Opex)

As is the case every year, the Opexes cost much more than expected: 1.18 billion, while the initial budget was counting on 450 million. The same phenomenon should happen again this year (the budget is also 450 million).

The budgets of certain schemes have also been underestimated again, such as the, the, the allowance for disabled adults, the temporary waiting allowance, the and the.