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To counter the public deficit, the State wants to continue selling its real estate

After the unprecedented slippage of the deficit to 5.

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To counter the public deficit, the State wants to continue selling its real estate

After the unprecedented slippage of the deficit to 5.5% in 2023, the executive is looking for savings. The sale of part of the State's real estate, for which it pays 2 billion euros in rent each year, continues to be an avenue. In 2023, 645 were sold “for a value of 280 million euros”, announced the Minister of Public Accounts Thomas Cazenave in an interview with La Tribune Dimanche. And the executive intends to continue the maneuver. “We need to give up square meters and reduce energy costs in our buildings. It’s virtuous for the planet, it’s also virtuous for public finances,” declared the Minister Delegate who, moreover, reiterated his wish to reduce the office space occupied by the administration by 25%.

“Leaving premises currently rented” should thus make it possible “to ultimately save 1 billion euros annually in maintenance expenses and rent,” he told La Tribune on Sunday. Concerning transfers of property, Thomas Cazenave estimates “their potential value at 5 billion euros, knowing that the State owns 190,000 buildings, or nearly 100 million square meters”. Among the other options is “to rent out certain spaces”. “Our good management made it possible, last year, to increase by 20% the earnings from the rents paid by the occupants of the real estate portfolio. It’s 1 billion euros in revenue,” he says.

Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, hostile to tax increases, repeated this week that he wanted to bring the deficit below 3% in 2027 and recalled that the government would give next week “the updated trajectory” to achieve this objective. The stability program (deficit and debt forecasts intended for the European Commission, Editor's note) will then be “presented to the Council of Ministers on Wednesday April 17,” Thomas Cazenave told La Tribune on Sunday.

Commissioned by the head of government, four deputies from the majority began working at the end of the week on a “taxation of rents” mentioned by Gabriel Attal. They are expected to deliver their findings in June. “Some want profits to be taken away, particularly among energy companies, others recommend taxing share buybacks. (...) We are open to proposals, I have asked the Bercy services to provide parliamentarians with all the necessary technical support,” said Thomas Cazenave.

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