A parliamentary report recommends setting up an annual debate on public debt and the state’s financing conditions, at a time when interest rates are at a historically low level. To strengthen their power of control, the deputies also ask that the government commit to a multi-year approach to public accounts.
Should we be afraid of a global debt at the top?
Since the beginning of the legislature, the parliamentarians of the majority have been active in order to strengthen their power of control over budgetary questions. It is in this perspective that we must understand the evaluation report presented this Wednesday to the National Assembly, which aims to take stock of thirteen years of application of the organic law relating to finance laws (LOLF), true table of the law in matters of public accounts. “Parliamentarians must be better informed in order to be able to better control the use of public money”, pleads Laurent Saint-Martin, vice-president of the finance committee at the Palais-Bourbon and rapporteur of this text.
In particular, MEPs want to be heard on the issue of public debt, which is once again becoming central at a time when interest rates have never been so low. “The weight of the debt, the part of the debt contracted for investment, the management of the debt load, all these questions must be able to be debated in the National Assembly, which is not currently the case. “, regrets Laurent Saint-Martin. The LREM deputy is reserved on the idea of resorting to debt to invest a little more. But he considers it necessary that Parliament “Looks at the financing conditions of the State”.
Public debt debate
The report therefore recommends setting up an annual debate on the issue. “It would make it possible to reflect on the determinants of public debt, by distinguishing the part of the increase in debt which is explained by expenditure that could be qualified” investment “and that which can be explained by others. types of expenses “, is it written in the report. Eric Woerth, the president (LR) of the finance committee, sees it as the means “To consolidate the safeguards preventing (its) increase and to consolidate the information available to parliamentarians and citizens”.
To strengthen the legibility of the public accounts, the deputies also demand from the government a multiannual approach. Today, Bercy regularly passes a programming law with deficit targets at four or five years, but the target is rarely reached (6 times out of 21 forecasts for ten years), which undermines the credibility of the device.
New programming law
Moreover, the copy presented by the current executive two years ago is already in the trash, the response to the crisis of “yellow vests” having forced a complete review of the financial trajectory. While it expected to present a new programming law this fall, the government will wait until next spring, “Which will allow us to take into account all the elements, in particular the future pension reform”, according to a person close to the file. Without waiting, the deputies also demand that each annual finance law includes three-year forecasts for the credit envelopes.