How MPs are driving up the price of cigarettes so they can spend more


The increase in tobacco taxes proposed by the deputies is in fact theoretical and very rarely applied. Nopphon – stock.adobe.com

LE FIGARO INFO – If all the amendments to the 2023 budget adopted by the oppositions were taken up, the package would drop to 21 euros.

It is a little-known but well-established and above all hypocritical parliamentary practice: artificially skyrocketing the price of a packet of cigarettes in order to pass measures reducing State resources, such as a reduction in VAT or the extension of a tax credit.

When they examine the annual budget of the State, the deputies and senators cannot do anything. Finally on paper. The Constitution (article 40) in fact prohibits them from lowering revenue or increasing expenditure to avoid pushing the public accounts a little further into the red. It is therefore necessary to compensate, which is politically difficult. Only here, strategies for circumventing these serious budgetary rules have been in place for years. And the exercise is ultimately not so complicated….

Concretely, when they table their many amendments aimed at lowering financial resources during the examination of the first part – the most political! – the dedicated budget…

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