Under the administration of the French president, spending on consultancy contracts has more than doubled since he came to power in 2017. US consultancy firm McKinsey is under scrutiny by the Senate as it is accused of not having paid corporation tax in France between 2011 and 2020.
The company so far denies any wrongdoing claiming to have complied with “all applicable French tax and social rules” and claiming to have paid corporation tax “in the five years the company has made a profit in France “.
And the French Senate is not alone in monitoring the fallout, as Macron’s political rivals prepare for a crucial presidential election he is still on course to win.
National Rally MEP Jordan Bardella said the Senate findings put the president “on the brink of a state scandal”.
He told Sud Radio: “I regret that the McKinsey case makes so little noise. Over the entire five-year term, Emmanuel Macron and his government have paid nearly 3 billion euros of public money to consulting firms, including 41 million euros to McKinsey during the management of the Covid.
“The Minister of Public Service lied under oath before the national representation by explaining that the expenses of the consulting firms had not increased.
“Yet they exploded under Emmanuel Macron, they have doubled since 2018.
“Light must be shed on this affair. This interpersonal relationship, this cronyism must be sanctioned at the ballot box.”
He continued: “This recourse to private firms to make decisions in the general interest.
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“The criterion for me is that it should not replace things that we know how to do ourselves and that it should be done in a transparent and controllable way.”
Last week, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire also attempted to respond to the backlash received on the issue.
He said: ‘We are going to make sure McKinsey pays the taxes it owes to France, like all companies.
The Minister added that “all the procedures have already been initiated by the Directorate General of Public Finances, McKinsey will pay”.
According to data obtained from the Ministry of the Budget, French ministries’ consulting expenditure amounted to 893.9 million euros in 2021, compared to 379.1 million euros in 2018.