The Higher Council of Public Finance handles the government’s optimistic forecasts

The battle for retirement is accelerating. Days after vigorous mobilization against executive reforms, Labor Minister Olivier Dussopt and Public Service Minister Stanislas Guerini presented the text this Monday in the Council of Ministers. Noting disputes across the region, Olivier Dussopt stated to the press “This pension reform project is different from what we were able to present a few months ago. »

The two ministers sent to the front declared ” determination to convey the text at all costs despite all calls for further action on the part of the unions. They are particularly adamant on the fact that the government will not budge on raising the retirement age to 64, the reform’s most symbolic act and undoubtedly the most condemned measure.

With regard to macroeconomic impacts, the Higher Public Finance Council attached to the Court of Auditors has issued an opinion severe on the amendments to the Social Security Financing Bill (PLFRSS) this Monday, January 23. “”” Given incompleteness information sent to him by the government, the Superior Council unable to assess the medium-term impact of pension reform on public finances, explain jurisdiction.

Regarding the impact study mentioned in several media, the Minister of Full Labor said in the Council of Ministers’ report that it was still a “provisional” version in circulation. Asked by Gallery, the entourage of ministers has not given a time when it will be announced.

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Growth scenarios considered “optimistic” and “high”

The growth forecasts maintained by the government in the bill were deemed “optimistic” by the judges. In a text sent to the Superior Council on Public Finance, Matignon has not changed his 1% growth projection since the presentation of the 2023 financial bill (PLF 2023) presented last September. Rue Cambon experts point out that the consensus of economists (Consensus forecast) is counting on growth of 0.2% this year.

And the Treasury forecast remains “above all the forecasts of the French and international economic institutions. » HCFP considers Bercy’s forecast “underestimating the factors constraining current activity, in particular the high inflation rate and ongoing monetary policy tightening”.

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Inflation: forecast considered “slightly weak”

Regarding the consumer price index, the High Council for Public Finance is considering the government’s forecast “a little weak”. Inflation will increase by an average of 4.2% in 2023 according to the figures included in the PLFRSS. Economists’ consensus, for their part, expects inflation to be 4.8%. As for Banque de France (5.5%), Rexode (5.2%) or OFCE (4.6%), they are betting on higher inflation than the Ministry of Finance. “The ebb and flow of inflation anticipated by the government appears fast,” the HCFP noted.

The agency estimates that the transmission of rising producer and import prices to consumer prices will continue to support base inflation, ie without the most volatile prices (fresh produce, petroleum products).

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400 million euros of additional spending by 2023

During a pension reform presentation on January 10, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne explained that pension reform could generate an additional 17.7 billion in revenue by 2030. “These reforms are aimed at restoring balance to the pension system by 2030. These measures made it possible to generate 18 billion euros. They will make it possible to save money but also to finance other measures such as maintenance of early departures for workers with disabilities, workers with disabilities, “ insisted Olivier Dussopt at the exit of the Council of Ministers.

Also readPensions: reforms could generate 18 billion euros by 2030, government ignores additional costs

In the medium term, the High Council for Public Finance will not make budget forecasts considering the incomplete information provided. As for 2023, the organization predicts that the net cost of the reform will be 400 million euros.

In detail, 50,000 people could delay their retirement this year. This will lead to a reduction in spending of 200 million euros by 2023. At the same time, an increase in minimum contributions (400 million euros), measures for professional hardship and wear and tear (100 million euros), or the financing of the transition between work and retirement ( 100 million euros) would lead to a jump in spending of 600 million euros.

Given the hypothetical entry into force of the reform on September 1 and the enhancement of this reform, the High Council for Public Finance indicated that the pension reform would be carried out in 2023. “negligible impact on the debt ratio. Only beyond this will this impact be significant. »

Under the weight of state spending, France’s public debt continues to grow