The Assises du BTP gave birth to a first round of support measures for the sector

They are eagerly awaited by the profession: the Assizes of construction and public works have recently given birth to a first salvo of measures intended to simplify administrative procedures and support the economic operations of construction professionals. On September 22, the Ministers of Economy, Bruno Le Maire, of Crafts and SMEs, Olivia Grégoire, and of Housing, Olivier Klein, presented this battery of tools (see the box below) “which may enter into force without delay”introduces the Ministry of the Economy.

These announcements come in a difficult economic context for companies. Not yet fully recovered from the health crisis, they also have to face supply difficulties, rising material prices and the need, more important than ever, to implement their ecological transition and apply the energy strength.

By gathering at the table representative organizations of the sector, such as the Confederation of Crafts and Small Building Companies (Capeb), the French Building Federation (FFB), the National Union of Construction Economists (Untec) or even the National Federation of Public Works (FNTP), Bercy thus tries to provide not only cyclical but also structural answers.

Public works professionals are now looking at the Finance Bill

Some of the provisions announced, such as maintaining the €100,000 mutual agreement threshold that exempts public works contracts from calls for tenders, have been requested for a long time by professionals in the sector. Similarly, the mission entrusted to the Intermediation of companies in the prediction of prices is likely to reassure artisans and companies that demand real transparency in the explosion of prices.

But satisfaction is far from total. “If the approach should be welcomed, this progress report is below the demands of the sector and does not respond to the current concerns of public works companies”, lamented the FNTP in a press release. So that counts “The economic situation of the sector will depend, to a large extent, on the content of the Finance Bill (PLF) for 2023”. The text should also be presented by Bercy on Monday, September 26.

Concretely, the federation of public works prefers that the associations of local elected officials be invited to the Assizes, remembering that the communities weigh in. “70% of public investment” and that securing their funding is de facto essential. At this point, the FNTP considers the indexation of the global operating grant (DGF) to inflation “is the best tool to preserve investment capacities” communities.

Other measures announced today are seen as “a smaller version” demand from the public works sector. In the current state of affairs, the federation therefore regrets that raising the threshold for development does not take into account the local authorities. According to him, “only a measure of legislative public order” will allow the revision of prices in existing contracts. Similarly, the Rep sector should “subject to a delay or enforcement arrangements”.

Other arrangements to be announced at the end of the year

The Government has committed to continuing consultation work in the coming months, noting that other measures are on the table “continues to be assessed” and that they “may be the subject of new announcements by the end of 2022”. This is especially about the issues of training and digital development. “We have a long term ambition”assured Bruno Le Maire by presenting the first notices. “These meetings will be part of the long term. We will not change a policy structure in two weeks.” A new progress report is thus scheduled for the spring of 2023, giving the State and the stakeholders six months to agree on solutions.

three subjects “must” The discussions were opened by Bruno Le Maire: the transparency of the price and the avoidance of any speculation, the training of trades and their attractiveness to young people, and finally support for the transfer of energy, a topic. “financially burdened”. Proliferating global changes will require substantial funding. “It is incredibly expensive, and it deserves deep reflection. We are ready to go in this direction, but we need to find the technical and financial levers so that this ambition does not remain a dead letter.”

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