Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The end of the écotaxe poids lourds has cost more than € 1 billion to taxpayers – The Figaro

The Court of auditors criticises strongly the government with its management in the folder of the ecotaxe heavy weight. She sees it as “a strategic failure and abandonment cost,”.

This is the story of a fiasco, as described by the menu, the Court of auditors in its annual report 2017. Voted almost unanimously by the parliament in 2009, under the impetus of the Grenelle environment forum, the écotaxe poids lourds was ultimately never saw the light of day. In the Face of the revolt of the “red caps” Brittany, that destroyed the porticoes of the environmental tax in the region, the government Ayrault has decided to suspend it. A decision “made in haste”, according to the magistrates, financiers, without “any prior analysis of the scope of this decision has been driving”.

And the malfunctions didn’t stop there. Followed months of time of procrastination, particularly due to differences within the executive. Originally, the department of Ecology wanted to maintain the possibility of implementing the tax, which would hit the weights heavy using 15.000 km of national roads or important and that was to finance the construction of infrastructure, especially rail ; the prime minister had, as an objective to avoid that the State pay the first rents to Ecomouv’, the private operator selected to implement the eco-tax.

indemnification poorly negotiated and the risks of litigation

Then, as alternative projects of taxation of heavy goods vehicles existed, Ségolène Royal, minister of ecology, since April of this year, announced on October 9, 2014, the suspension sine die of the ecotax. The contract with Ecomouv’ has been terminated on the 30th of October. “This new decision has not been more prepared than the previous”, tackle the Court.

above all, it was expensive. It was necessary to compensate Ecomouv’ to the tune of 181 million euros for the suspension of the tax in 2014. Knowing that, according to the Court, to pay rent to the company would have cost only $ 148 million, or even 100 to 120 million. In other words, the State – and therefore the taxpayer – have lost money with the option taken by the prime minister to avoid paying royalties. The compensation related to the termination of the contract, it cost € 777 million to the public finances! Worse, the Court considers that the State, asking that the payment of this allowance is spread out from 2016 to 2024, ” said the bill of 35 million… Of the items challenged by the government in its reply to the Court, which considers that both compensation would have been increased by 100 million each without these negotiations. Anyway, despite these compensations, there are also risks of litigation, valued at € 270 million.

Assets sold for a pittance

In addition, “authorities have incurred expenditure of $ 70 million between 2008 and 2015, that are in retrospect unnecessary,” according to the Court. Jobs had been created in the Customs information system put in place… As for the cranes and other elements, worth 652 million euros, they no longer serve to nothing. Some of them were sold, but at a discounted price, so that the State has recovered only 2.19 million. “The computer servers were sold to 2% of their value”, point, and magistrates financial statements.

Certainly, the government has decided to compensate the loss due to the disappearance of the ecotax in under the TICPE on diesel tax (domestic consumption of energy products). The public finances as a whole should come out winning (for € 1.5 billion from 2015 to 2024), the TICPE is a tax dynamic. But then that will foreign lorries crossing France would have paid 31% of the environmental tax, they only contribute to 2% of the TICPE according to the Court, or 15%, according to the government, these carriers are doing little to full in France. In short, the rebalancing of charges between truckers, French and foreign, is missed. The abandonment of the tax, heavy weight is “a mess heritage, social and industrial,” concludes the Court. One cannot say the least.


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