Fiscal irresponsibility generates chaos and tax increases in socialist Anne Hidalgo’s Paris

Under the command of socialist Anne Hidalgo, Paris has an astronomical debt of 7.7 billion euros (more than R$ 42 billion), 110% higher than in 2014, when she took over the administration of the French capital. In addition, the lack of transparency and the sending of audit reports makes it impossible to define whether there are 53 or 56 thousand workers in the city hall of the French capital – official sources present different numbers. A fiscal irresponsibility that falls to the account of Parisians, in an increase in the cost of living.

“There are more employees in the city of Paris than in the European Commission”, described Gabriel Attal, Minister of Public Accounts of the country. To get an idea of ​​the swelling in the state apparatus, in the administration of Bertrand Delanoë, in 2001, the capital employed 40,000 workers.

“Two years ago we demanded an audit of city management and, in particular, of the explosion in representation costs for Ms. Hidalgo. Despite being banned by the courts, she still refuses to account for the use of that money,” said Rachida Dati, adviser to former president Nicolas Sarkozy and regional mayor of the seventh region of Paris, to the newspaper Le Figaro. According to her, Hidalgo’s management masks the explosion in operating expenses through accounting tricks.

“This debt is the result of a calamitous management by Paris. It does not correspond to structuring investments, nor to an improvement in the quality of life. Paris is dirty, concrete, without vegetation”, evaluated Dati.

While multimillion-dollar public works are often judged as unnecessary or inefficient and increase the French capital’s billionaire debts, photos of rats taking over the city, overflowing garbage cans and dirty streets are posted by residents on social media.

Contradiction with the campaign

A reality that leaves Hidalgo with no choice but to contradict his own campaign promises about not raising taxes. The Parisian will be left in pocket: a 52% increase in property tax, as announced by the city hall.

Before that, the commander of Paris had already raised the price of paid parking, hoping to raise around 300 million euros in revenue. The strategy backfired, largely because of the urban changes wrought by his fellow environmentalists.

With the reduction of vehicles circulating, under an intense campaign for the use of bicycles and other less polluting means, paid parking did not return to public coffers. Available parking spaces have also decreased, following this green movement in the French capital.

Residents leave town

In addition to the housing component, other items are more expensive in Paris than elsewhere in France. The cost of healthcare in the capital, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE, for its acronym in French), is 6.5% higher in Paris than in the rest of France. Leisure and culture, 6.6%, and daily transport, 6.9%.

Compared to the cost of living in other major cities in the world, Paris is not far behind either, quite the contrary. Between 2018 and 2020, the French capital reached first place in the global survey on the cost of living carried out annually by The Economist Intelligence Unit, a research institute supported by the British newspaper The Economist.

Naturally, in this scenario, inhabitants leave Paris. Around 60,000 people have left the French capital in five years, according to official data.

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