The explosion in energy prices is damaging the industrial fabric. The famous glass manufacturer Duralex has announced that it will put its furnace on hold for several months. Many energy-intensive industries have already begun to slow down across the territory ahead of a much-dreaded winter. A complete shutdown of the Russian gas tap could bring down many industrial companies when many have already suffered from the long years of the pandemic.
Despite this troubled context, the Minister of the Economy wants to emphasize reindustrialization for his second five-year term. During a meeting with journalists this Thursday, September 1, Bruno Le Maire announced that this project was going to be the first priority for the start of the school year. “The era of mass relocations must be definitively closed. It will take a long time for the industrial reconquest to work,” did he declare.
Budget 2023: abolish the CVAE in one go
To accelerate this reindustrialisation, the Minister of the Economy intends to pursue his policy of supply, as he repeated to employers last Tuesday at the meeting of French entrepreneurs (REF) at the Hippodrome de Longchamp. “The only recipe is to hold firm on the economic policy held since 2017: it is the policy of supply. It gives results on employment, investment or even attractiveness”, he asserted.
Among the hot topics of the new school year is the reduction in production taxes. During the presidential campaign, Emmanuel Macron had promised to tackle the CVAE, the contribution on the added value of companies. This taxation had brought in around 10 billion euros for local authorities in 2021.
This shortfall is likely to cause an outcry in Parliament during the next budget discussions scheduled for the fall. “Passing the abolition of the CVAE in the 2023 budget in one go will not be an easy task”, conceded Bruno Le Maire. “The abolition of the CVAE is a major supply shock for production”, he continued. This tax had appeared at the time of the reform of the business tax in 2010. It has become one of the components of the Territorial Economic Contribution (CET) strongly contested in business circles.
The energy crisis, a brake on reindustrialization
The energy crisis on the Old Continent haunts many industry leaders. After two long years of pandemic, many sectors are on the front line facing the collateral effects of the war in Ukraine. “We are witnessing a reduction in gas consumption of 15% to 20% in industrial companies”, informed the Minister of Economy. According to Bercy, rationing must concern “2,300 industrial enterprises”. In addition, the surge of price fever is not ready to abate given the geopolitical context. Suffice to say that reindustrialization could turn into a way of the cross.
Faced with these obstacles, the government has opened a one-stop shop on the website of the Directorate General for Enterprise (DGE) “but it doesn’t work.” We have disbursed only 500,000 euros out of the 3 billion euros available. The criteria are too demanding. Energy consumption must represent 3% of turnover. We work with Roland Lescure [le ministre délégué à l’Industrie] to improve access to this fund,” the minister said. “Regarding the fund for companies that consume a lot of energy, we have started discussions with the European Commission to improve access to this aid”,– he continued. The crisis is still likely to cause tremors.