The Autumn session of the Conseil National started on Friday, with the first of 4 meetings to discuss the provisional 2011 budget.
It's Minister of State Michel Roger's first budget, drawn up in the context of the world economic crisis, but with a desire to promote Monaco as an attractive base for entrepreneurs. The headlines present a 94 m euros deficit, an 11 m euros reduction on the deficit in relation to 2010. Alexandre Bordero, President of the Commission des Finances et de l'Economie Nationale and rapporteur noted that the reduction is the result of an optimistic expectation that income will increase to 843.2 m euros, 5% more than in 2010, rather than tight management of expenses. The Government expects tax contributions to rise by 6.9%, an anticipated VAT revenue of around 434 m euros for 2011. Elsewhere, revenue is expected to come in from the Athena building and from two radio licensing contracts.
The deficit will be largely covered by the constitutional reserve fund, which may also provide finance for the ZAC Saint Antoine in Cap d'Ail, and the Tour Odeon. Opposition leader Laurent Nouvion called for tighter control of the budget, while praising the Government's measures to attract business and investment. However he wants more to be done, especially to increase office space and speed up the study for land extension at Fontvieille.
The Conseil National members are now closely studying the budget's detail before voting on Friday 17th December.