Small and big cities demand more power to help businesses

an opaque, complex and undemocratic ballot

© Supplied by La Tribune

Letters from local elected officials are starting to pile up on the Prime Minister’s desk. After a letter, on 23, from the France urban association calling on the government to “give the regions room to maneuver to face the crisis“It is the turn, this March 26, of the association of small towns of France (APVF) to write to Edouard Philippe. The president (PS) Christophe Bouillon asks the tenant of Matignon to be able to do so”directly help local businesses“.

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The “limit” of powers in this area

In line with the demand of large cities and metropolises for “ataccompanying businesses and businesses“, the APVF “wonders about the extent of the levers available to the sights of small towns to help businesses located on their territory” in the midst of a health crisis.

“Many local elected officials tell us of the limits of their powers in this area, of their need to be able to release funds quickly while preserving their finances”, calls Christophe Bouillon in his letter. “It is obviously companies, small and medium, which will have the least capacity to cope with an economic crisis that promises to be long.”

The president of the association of local elected representatives considers that by being able “act more directly”, additional measures could “usefully relay and strengthen” the decisions taken by the State and the regions. “Pby their knowledge of the local fabric and the reality of the needs and difficulties encountered by businesses in their municipality“, the mayors “can provide additional intervention leverage“, he continues.

Consider this aid as investment expenditure

The APVF suggests that municipalities in a position to do so can support local businesses and that “these aids are counted as investment subsidies“. Socialist deputy of Seine-Maritime until he took office as mayor of Barentin, Christophe Bouillon demands”a modification of the legislative or regulatory rules currently in force“.

If the accounting rules are not modified by the Parliament, these contributions risk being recorded as operating expenses, the increase of which is limited to 1.2% since the “Cahors contracts” of December 2017. Certainly the draft law to deal with the epidemic, adopted on the 22nd, allows this constraint to be waived, but to “exceptional situation, exceptional measures” concludes the association. In this area, the regional councils remain leaders in economic development and aid for businesses.

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The ordinance on the measures of budgetary, financial and fiscal continuity of the territorial collectivities and the local public establishments, published this 26 at Official newspaper, also offers “budgetary flexibility measures”. The ceiling for unforeseen expenses is raised to 15%.

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