Engineer India rickshaw mechanic fix Brandon/Flickr

Réinventer l’État

PARIS – Depuis la crise financière de 2008, les gouvernements des pays avancés sont sous pression. Dans de nombreux cas, l'économie s'est contractée, les revenus ont diminué et le nombre de transactions immobilières a chuté, entraînant un effondrement brutal et durable des recettes publiques. Les gouvernements n'ont eu d'autre choix que d'augmenter les impôts ou de tailler dans les dépenses.

Dans certains pays, le choc a été tel qu’une hausse d'impôt conséquente n’a pas suffi à effacer la chute des recettes. En Espagne, malgré une hausse de prélèvements de plus de quatre points de PIB depuis 2010, le taux de prélèvements obligatoires a été de seulement 38% en 2014, contre 41% en 2007. En Grèce, les prélèvements supplémentaires ont atteint 13 points de PIB sur la même période, mais le taux de P.O. n’a augmenté que de six points. Ailleurs, la limite politique à l'impôt a été atteinte avant que le fossé soit comblé. Volontairement ou non, priorité a alors été donnée à la diminution des dépenses.

A cette pression s'ajoute la désillusion quant aux perspectives de croissance. Au cours de ces dernières années les gains de productivité ont partout été faibles, et cela laisse attendre une croissance en recul par rapport aux prévisions d’avant-crise. Compte tenu du vieillissement de la population, la dynamique des recettes ne suffira probablement pas à financer la hausse des dépenses de santé et de retraites.

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