France to continue energy tariff shield in 2023 budget bill

France will continue its energy tariff shield costing 16 billion euros ($15 billion) in the country’s 2023 budget bill, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and Minister Delegate for Public Accounts Gabriel Attal announced.

After a meeting of the Council of Ministers, Le Maire told reporters on Monday that the goal for the country’s 2023 budget bill is to spend “down to the last euro” to reduce inflation and protect purchasing power amid increasing energy prices, rports Xinhua news agency.

The 2023 budget for France is based on economic growth forecasts of 2.7 per cent in 2022 and 1.0 per cent in 2023, while inflation is estimated at around 6 per cent in 2022 and 4 per cent in 2023, Le Maire said.

Another goal is to reduce France’s public accounts deficit to below 3 per cent of its GDP, he added.

In order to boost full-time employment, in 2023 the government will allocate 6 billion euros more budget to its Ministry of Labour and Employment than in 2022.

The Ministry of National Education and Ministry of Defence will also receive more funds through the 2023 budget bill.

In addition, the government has suggested helping French companies by lifting their contribution to added value in two years, which will “increase the competitiveness of French companies, in particular in the industrial sector”, Le Maire said.

The green fund for local authorities to accelerate the ecological transition, and the second bicycle fund announced by Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne were also included in the budget bill.

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