France: Government announces largest fiscal adjustment in 30 years
September 28, 2012
On 28 September, the government presented its budget for the year 2013, in which it aims at cutting the fiscal deficit to 3.0% of GDP in 2013 from the 4.5% of GDP shortfall expected for this year. The government plans to narrow the fiscal gap to 0.3% of GDP by 2017. According to the text, the government projects an optimistic 0.8% GDP expansion for next year (Consensus Forecast: +0.5%). The draft foresees an adjustment of over EUR 30 billion, the largest in three decades, based on tax hikes and spending cuts. Only a third of the adjustment will come from spending cuts, the remaining two thirds based on additional revenues through higher taxes. The President Hollande's Socialist government plans steep tax increases for the top 10% of earners, temporarily lifting the levy up to 75% on incomes above EUR 1 million. These measures come on top of the previous tax increases announced in July. Meanwhile, the other EUR 10 billion in spending cuts include a reduction in operating costs and slashing investment.