• The finance bill for 2022 was presented on Wednesday.

  • The Minister of the Economy insisted on defending the action of the executive in the five-year term.

  • He also attacked some proposals for presidential candidates.

It is with “enthusiasm” that Bruno Le Maire came to present this Wednesday the 2022 finance bill (PLF), the last of Emmanuel Macron's five-year term. The Minister of the Economy was offensive when detailing the budgetary choices of the executive, not hesitating to ridicule the opposition from the right as from the left. In fact, his speech to the press had the air of a political rally, less than a year before the presidential election.

“The French can trust us,” he said.

We showed them that we knew how to hold the bar in a storm ”.

The coronavirus has indeed upset the plans of the executive, which had to abandon certain promises, such as the return to a balanced budget or the elimination of 120,000 officials.

Instead, the "whatever it costs" and its billions of euros of aid (partial unemployment, solidarity fund) initiated a year and a half ago have inflated deficits and brought the debt to 115% of GDP. .

Occupy the land

For Bruno Le Maire, it was worth it. “We spent the French money wisely. The economic situation is better than expected at the national level: we are forecasting 6% growth in 2021, 4% in 2022. The effectiveness of the recovery has enabled us to have an unemployment rate lower than before the crisis. "A satisfecit summed up by this formula, repeated several times:" We are serious managers.

Managers, of course, but also politicians who have a record to defend… and a campaign to lead.

Thus, when the Minister of the Economy presents “the clear spending choices” of the executive for 2022, he emphasizes “sovereign rearmament”.

The budgets for Defense (+1.7 billion euros), the Interior (+1.5 billion euros) and Justice (+700 million euros) are indeed increasing.

"This rearmament is awaited by the French, who want security and justice" affirms Bruno Le Maire.

A way of occupying the ground facing the right and the extreme right.

" Lie "

Likewise, the minister returned to the criticisms concerning the spending announced in recent weeks by Emmanuel Macron. The president announced, pell-mell, better unemployment compensation for self-employed workers, a specific plan for Marseille (estimated at 1.5 billion euros) or even an expansion of "commitment income for young people". Enough to tickle the opposition, the deputy Charles de Courson denouncing in

L'Obs

"the policy of the

open bar

 ".

“I hear that since the start of the new school year we would have burnt down the cash register or taken out the checkbook. Lie ! »Exclaimed Bruno Le Maire. Before specifying: "All the expenses which were announced, we had anticipated them since July". All… except the commitment income, the costing of which remains unknown to this day, and which will have to be clarified before parliamentarians.

Far from confining himself to the defense of his budget, the Minister of the Economy has emboldened himself, going so far as to criticize the “far-fetched” promises of several presidential candidates.

The nationalization of the highways (proposed by Arnaud Montebourg or Marine Le Pen) or even the doubling of teachers' salaries (idea brought by Anne Hidalgo) have thus been qualified as “anything budgetary”.

In the hushed setting of the presentation of the PLF, the battle of ideas for 2022 is well and truly launched.

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