Budgetary programming: without Elisabeth Borne, a new 49.3 in the embly

Published on Nov 13, 2023 at 5:45 p.m.

The government drew a new 49.3 this Monday in the National embly for the final reading of the public finance programming law 2023-2027, without the Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, on an official trip to Ireland. In an almost empty hemicycle, the Minister of Relations with Parliament, Franck Riester, took charge of reading a message from the Prime Minister committing the government to responsibility.

Against the “austerity cure”, LFI announced in return the filing of a motion of censure, the very probable rejection of which in a few days will mean definitive adoption of this law, which promises a public deficit reduced to 2.7% of the GDP in 2027, below the European objective of 3%.

Unlock 18 billion from the European recovery plan

This is the 17th use of the constitutional weapon of 49.3 of the government of Elisabeth Borne. The absence of the Prime Minister to hold the government accountable before the embly is not a first. “Under Michel Rocard (Prime Minister from 1988 to 1991), several 49.3s were triggered by the Minister of Relations with Parliament or the number two in the government Lionel Jospin,” recalls a parliamentary source.

This text “ensures our credibility vis-à-vis our European partners” and will make it possible to unlock “18 billion euros from the European recovery plan,” said Elisabeth Borne in the letter read by Franck Riester, an argument often contested by oppositions.

Sunday on France Inter, the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, underlined “that in 2024 we will have to find at least 12 billion euros in additional savings”, thanks to a “review of public spending “.

In ping, he dissociated himself from two recent measures negotiated by the government with the opposition: the extension of the fuel allowance to more workers (proposal from the independent Liot group) and an exceptional allowance supplementing the Christmas bonus 2023 for single-parent families (PS proposal). “I was against these proposals, everyone knows that, but it is part of government life […] At some point, we have to say stop, we no longer have the means,” he insisted.

The Senate, with a majority from the right and the center, for its part demanded a return below 3% two years earlier, in 2025, and a public deficit reduced to 1.7% in 2027, but did not achieve any gain. cause.

Legal standoff?

Recourse to 49.3 on the programming law could lead to a legal standoff with oppositions.

Excluding State and Social Security budgets, for which the use of 49.3 is unlimited, the government only has the right to use this constitutional weapon on a single text per parliamentary session. But the executive, supported by legal opinions, ures that it is not using this cartridge for this public finance programming law, since it had already been the subject of a first 49.3 at the end of September, during an extraordinary session .

The opposition could try to challenge this legal argument if the government uses 49.3 again during this ordinary session, for example on the immigration bill .

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