French government aims at €4.5bn spending cut in 2017
14 July, 2017
France is working to generate €4.5bn in spending cuts in 2017 as it wants to tame the public deficit to 3% of economic output by the end of this year, Gerald Darmanin, minister of action and public accounts said on 11 July. The government will squeeze public expenditure without increasing taxes and affecting public services in relation with French daily life, according to Darmanin. The government aims to balance the country's public finances squeezing mainly by trimming ministerial budgets without slashing jobs, he added. In an alarming report last month, the Court of Auditors said a budget shortfall left by former president Francois Hollande's government would result in a deficit of 3.2%. French President Emmanuel Macron has promised to meet the budget gap target of 2.8% by the end of 2017. He also pledged to cut public spending by €60bn by 2022.
France will press ahead with tax cuts promised by the new president, a finance ministry source said, despite warnings from the official state audit body about an €8bn hole in the budget. Macron insisted at a meeting on 9 July that plans to rein in France's wealth tax and scrap local property taxes for 80% of those currently paying them begin to take effect in 2018, the source said, confirming earlier French media reports. The president's intervention comes just days after his Prime Minister Edouard Philippe had suggested the cuts would be postponed into 2019 as France struggles to contain its public deficit.