Budget: local authorities, next victims of 49.3?
Is the government preparing to draw a new 49.3 this week? The question haunts the Hemicycle, while the examination of the second part of the finance bill (PLF) begins this Thursday morning. Especially since, according to parliamentarians, certain signs are not misleading. Like the postponement of the examination of the local authorities component, from October 27 – from the opening of the debates – to November 4, at the Assembly.
« The fact that they are shifting the parliamentary agenda shows that they are not comfortable, understand the communist deputy Sébastien Jumel . They’ll use 49.3 anyway before the debate happens. It is an additional humiliation for the communities, and we will not let them go. » A hypothesis shared by Mathilde Panot, leader of the rebellious deputies, who does not believe in the explanations of the Minister of Relations with Parliament, Franck Riester, who would have justified this reversal because of the complexity of the subject. “I believe that the mayors of municipalities, the Association of Mayors of France and all the communities of this country will be delighted to learn that the government is preparing to use 49.3 on the ultra-sensitive issue of communities”she quipped at a press conference on Tuesday.
Because a move by the executive in this area would not be a first: this is what it has already done on the first part of the budget, by forcefully passing just before the Hemicycle deliberates on the progressive abolition of the business value added contribution (CVAE). “Whatever the outcome of the examination in the Assembly, it will necessarily move in the Senate”, reassures the PCF deputy Nicolas Sansu. The majority in the Upper House being held by « The Republicans », pushed to the wheel by the many local elected officials in the formation, the executive will therefore be forced to negotiate.
For weeks, local elected officials have been denouncing a PLF that is far from up to the challenges they face. They are sounding the alarm in the face of inflation up 5.6% year on year in September, according to INSEE. Between this increase and the reduction in state grants, many local authorities find themselves suffocated, and soaring energy bills pose serious risks to the continuity of public services. Some have already had to take unprecedented measures (temporary closures of museums, swimming pools, etc.).
However, among the measures provided for by the PLF, an increase in financial assistance from the State of only 2.15% is envisaged. The executive also wants to create an ecological acceleration fund in the territories endowed with 1.5 billion euros. But the opposition is far from satisfied. “These measures are largely insufficient, we should at least get to the level of inflation, which is not planned. The subject is very important, because local authorities are a lookout for the Republic,” confided Nicolas Sansu. A position that the left hopes to defend in the Assembly, if the government does not draw 49.3 too soon.