Pension reform: “very low” impact on public finances in 2023, according to Pierre Moscovici

As a sign of the hidden frustration among the senators of the Social Affairs Committee. They would like to benefit from the views of the High Council of Public Finance (HCFP) on the medium-term implications of the pension reform project. The president of the organization, Pierre Moscovici, who was heard on January 25, could not give an opinion after 2023 alone: ​​”For us it is a bit of a disappointment,” said Senator Philippe Mouiller (LR).

The HCFP, which disclosed all macroeconomic and financial projections of the budget texts, was limited in preparing its opinion on the bill on the amendment of the financing of Social Protection (PLFRSS). government. “The government has only contacted the Supreme Council of Public Finance about the impact on public finances for 2023. Furthermore, we have only been given very partial information. […] Considering the results of such a reform in the medium and long term, this annual prism is regrettable”, said Pierre Moscovici from the beginning.

“Very low” impact of reforms in 2023

His criticisms were widely shared in the Social Affairs Committee. “We regret with you the incompleteness of the elements transmitted by the government. We are aware of this report, “said Senator Raymonde Poncet Monge on the environment.

According to HCFP, the impact of the pension reform on public finances will be “very weak” this year. The reform, as it stands, involves an initial three-month increase in the legal retirement In September, it delayed the opening of the rights of 50,000 people. For the first year of implementation, the net cost of the reform to the public finances will be 400 million euros, with revenues initially increasing more slowly than costs (revaluation of small pensions, measures against hardship and employment-pension transitions).

Lack of budget programming law “creates many legal problems”

“The absence of this text is quite serious”

“The The pension reform in this PLFRSS should not improve the debt trajectory presented by the government in the public finance programming bill in September”, analyzed Pierre Moscovici. The chairman of the Supreme Council of State Finance is also particularly dissatisfied with the inability to assess the compatibility of the pension reform with the programming of the state finances for 2023-2027. It doesn’t exist, its draft is still blocked in the parliamentary shuttle. After the failure of the joint committee on December 15, it was not again put on the agenda of the two parliamentary assemblies.

Pierre Moscovici, more decisively than in recent months, has shown once again the lack of this steering wheel, which is essential to correct the trajectory of public finances. It even goes so far as to criticize the government for “sweeping dust under the carpet”. “France cannot do without the programming law of public finance. This is an organic, European legal obligation,” he stressed. “His absence it presents many legal problems, political problems, testing problems, the importance of which is dangerous to underestimate. The absence of this text is not an anecdote, it is an important thing, I would even say it is quite serious in reality. »

Pierre Moscovici is not worried about the cost of vacations

Therefore, if the exchanges were necessarily limited to medium or long-term perspectives, the senators nevertheless had elements to clarify for the first months of the implementation of the reform. Élisabeth Doineau (Centre Union), chief speaker of the Social Affairs Committee, wondered whether the social movements announced for the coming weeks could affect growth. I think the effects are very limited, if any. This is not what we should be afraid of economically, “says Pierre Moscovici. The social conflict against the 1995 pension reform led to a loss of 0.1 points of GDP, he recalled, a “relatively insignificant” level.

René-Paul Savary (LR), as rapporteur for the old-age department of Social Security, put his finger on another issue. Alerted by Agirc Arrco, an additional pension fund for workers in the private sector, the senator explained that it has begun to cancel the pensions of some people in a premium situation (those who continue to work beyond the required insurance period and legal age). , although until now they didn’t necessarily mean it “The number of cancellation files is much higher than what Agirc Arrco is currently aware of. “There is already a financial impact that can affect the impact of the reform every year starting from 2023.”

“Additional costs are not taken into account”

Other information is also missing in the elements transmitted to the government by the High Council of State Finance. “Government costing only takes into account the mechanical effects of announced measures. This should be taken into account as a result of keeping older workers in the labor market additional costs of disability, daily allowances, unemployment benefits, AAH, “still raised Pierre Moscovici. This is also true in the other direction. The government “does not take into account additional incomes due to the increase in the level of employment in the elderly. »

Regarding the macroeconomic forecasts contained in the pension reform project, the HCFP president once again specifies the “still optimistic scenario” of the government in terms of growth in activity. With a growth forecast of 1%, Bercy kept the same scenario as in September, the month when the 2023 budget was presented. Although the risks of a slowdown in growth in Europe have decreased, the forecast remains a long way off. economists (0.2%) or Banque de France (0.3%).

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