Although Monaco’s annual budget will show a deficit of 114.5 million euros, the first deficit in six years, the Government’s economic and social priorities will be met, Minister of Economy Jean Castellini said on Wednesday, July 4.

“The objective is to preserve the Monegasque economic and social model,” he said. “It is a budget drawn up in an uncertain, but proactive, economic context, on the broad guidelines of Government policy, such as the Economic Recovery and Employment Support Plan, and the National Housing Plan for Monegasques.”

The draft budget will be presented to the National Council for consideration and a vote next month.

The Government wanted to be cautious in drawing up this initial budget, both with regard to revenue, which is likely to be impacted by the health crisis, and with regard to expenditure, since state services have been asked to scrupulously monitor operating outgoings in order to concentrate budgetary resources on investment in favour of Monegasques and residents.

“Our objective remains to find a balanced budget as soon as possible,” Jean Castellini said.

Revenue is estimated to decrease in 2021, in the order of 40 million compared to 2020, in particular resulting from a reduction in VAT linked to consumption.

The National Housing Plan for Monegasques will use a third of the envelope of 625 million euros intended for investment spending, with delivery scheduled between 2022 and 2025 of nearly 800 new apartments.

Digital transition will receive 45 million euros, similar to that of 2020 and which is based both on the development of infrastructure such as the sovereign Cloud, but also the transformation of the Administration and the development of a digital economy.

Other projects include the renovation of the Grimaldi Forum and Larvotto car parks, 12 new MonaBike stations, four million euros for lifts and escalators in the Principality, and three million in Beausoleil.

Mr Castellini said that the initial budget is intended to be “pragmatic and flexible”, and includes measures that have been discussed with the National Council, such as the Monegasque economic recovery plan, drawn up for the financial years. 2020 and 2021, and the extension of the financial support for employees until the end of March 2021, which will cost 40 million euros.

PHOTO: Jean Castellini