Budget 2024: the State is refocusing on sovereign functions and ecological transition


The Minister Delegate for Public Accounts, Gabriel Attal, and the Minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, at the Elysée, July 13, 2023.

For Bercy, it is an effort “on an unprecedented scale at least since 2015”. According to the first budget documents sent to parliamentarians, state spending will decrease, in 2024, by 4.2 billion euros compared to 2023 – at least as they were calibrated before the debate in Parliament in the fall of 2022 – to settle at 356 billion euros. “This represents a decline of 3.5% taking inflation into account”, says the Ministry of Finance. The “revenue” part of the budget, namely tax revenue, will be worked out after the summer.

In a context of very constrained public finances because marked by a succession of crises since 2020, the executive needs to send strong signals, both to investors who buy French debt and to the European Commission. While the major countries of the European Union have embarked on savings and debt reduction programs – Berlin announced severe cuts to reduce Germany’s deficit to 1.75% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2024 – Paris has promised to bring its deficit below 3% of GDP in 2027, against 4.9% forecast for 2023, with a march of 0.5 point of GDP in 2024. will again find itself on the radar of rating agencies this fall, in full examination of the 2024 budget in Parliament.

After several weeks of discussions between the Minister Delegate for Public Accounts, Gabriel Attal, and his colleagues from the various ministries, the “ceiling letters” which set the resources allocated to the latter must be formally sent within the next ten days. According to the Ministry of the Budget, they respond to three imperatives: debt reduction, the “rearmament of public services” which are defence, the interior, justice and education, and finally the financing of the ecological transition.

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The sovereign functions, whose resources are now largely covered by the multi-annual programming laws, will thus see their budget increase significantly in 2024: + 3.3 billion euros for defense, + 1.1 billion euros for the Ministry of the Interior and + 500 million euros for justice. National education, which will receive 3.9 billion euros more than in 2023, receives “the largest increase in 2024”, according to Bercy. This envelope must come to feed the increases in income for teachers and those accompanying students with disabilities, as well as the reform of vocational high schools.

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