The National Council of Monaco met in early October to vote, first of all, on the supplementary budget for 2021. A budget with a reduced deficit of 8.8 million euros, compared with 71.5 million in June.
Practically a balanced budget
This turnaround is due to a 17% increase in Principality revenue, thanks to the summer season, property VAT and revenue generated by the financial sector.
State expenditure is mainly linked to the pandemic, but equipment and investment costs have also been particularly high this year, particularly with the completion of the Larvotto complex.
As for the pandemic, the various Special Treasury Accounts (CST) were drawn upon to cover expenditure on related social measures, namely the White, Red and White and Blue Funds as well as the National Green Fund. This expenditure prompted some debate between the President of the National Council, the President of the Finance and National Economy Commission, the Finance and Economy Minister and the Director of the Budget and the Treasury. At issue: budget provisions indicating a negative balance of 185 million euros.
Despite this, and thanks to the revenue collected, Stéphane Valeri, President of the National Council, believes that this budget “with the addition of about 9 million euros to a special Treasury account, ultimately constitutes a balanced budget for 2021”.
Stéphane Valeri also expressed his satisfaction at the “harmonious and efficient ” relations between the Prince’s Government and the National Council.
600 homes by 2023
Several other topics were debated in the hemicycle. In particular, the completion of more than 600 state-owned apartments by 2023 was confirmed. The Testimonio II and II bis and Palais Honorias apartments will be delivered with fully equipped kitchens to facilitate and expedite the process.
Operation “CARLO” back in December
The “CARLO” scheme will also be reintroduced at the end of 2021, with the same format as last year. The initiative “guarantees that this bonus will be spent exclusively in Monaco’s shops, and is therefore immediately reinvested in the local economy”. The special bonus, in the form of vouchers, will provide 6.5 million euros to public sector agents from the beginning of December, to be spent in Monegasque stores.
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Co-payment, subject of debate
Still on the topic of the pandemic, the “ticket modérateur” (healthcare co-payment system) gave rise to some lively debate. The ticket concerns CHPG (Princess Grace Hospital) pensioners living in France, and enables their costs to be 100% covered when they are treated at the Monegasque hospital. Stéphane Valeri asked that “this unwarranted measure be reversed, especially as it was adopted without any consultation with staff representatives”.
Free buses in Monaco
Another subject that was debated by the National Council: free buses in the Principality. The scheme was approved by the Government, but tests were postponed because of the pandemic. The President of the Council suggested testing the free buses in April / May 2022. Minister of State Pierre Dartout also presented several planned improvements to bus routes.
Waste treatment: “a multifaceted issue”
Finally, one of the key points was on the environment. Stéphane Valeri spoke about the reconstruction of the waste treatment plant: “There are many issues at stake: sovereignty, air quality, economic issues, energy efficiency and, of course, compliance with our country’s environmental commitments. Pierre Dartout insists that cooperation with France is essential, since every year 400,000 tons of Monegasque construction waste is sent to France.