After three weeks of fierce debates day and night, Parliament is preparing to definitively adopt this Thursday the second part of the package of measures in favor of purchasing power during the last sessions for deputies and senators before the summer break.
It was a key subject of the presidential campaign and the first big piece of the mandate, in the form of a test for the “new method” of the executive, deprived of an absolute majority at the Palais Bourbon.
After a first part validated on Wednesday including 20 billion euros in expenditure, it is the turn of the rectified draft budget for 2022 and its new batch of measures to deal with inflation to be submitted to the final vote. It will pass in front of the Assembly at 3 p.m. then in front of the Senate, dominated by the right, at 5 p.m.
It is a formality, due to the agreement reached on Wednesday evening between the parliamentarians in the joint joint committee, at the cost of numerous concessions to LR, whose votes have become essential. The left-wing Nupes alliance should oppose the text which “does not rectify the inequalities of our society”, criticize its elected officials, who have constantly called for new social or ecological measures.
EDF, civil servants, fuel discount
It is planned to open 44 billion euros in loans, including 9.7 to finance the 100% renationalisation of EDF. Also scheduled are the revaluation of the index point for civil servants, the continuation of the tariff shield on energy and the fuel discount of 30 cents per liter in September-October then 10 in November-December.
Provisions were fiercely discussed and maintained, such as the abolition of the audiovisual license fee.
Between the presidential majority and the right, common ground was found on Wednesday evening, in particular on the controversial subject of the possible monetization of RTT, which the Senate wanted to perpetuate.
This takeover by voluntary companies of the RTT of employees, for those ready to work more, will finally be possible until the end of 2025.
The bonus of 100 euros for beneficiaries of the minima and those receiving the activity bonus
Regarding the exceptional back-to-school bonus, which the Senate wanted to reserve for low-income workers and not for social minima, which sparked an outcry on the left, there too a compromise was made. The bonus of 100 euros will be paid to the beneficiaries of the minima and also to those receiving the activity bonus, the total envelope allocated being increased from 1 to 1.1 billion.
No tax on “superprofits”
For the success of the joint commission, the boss of the senators LR Bruno Retailleau had posed as a condition the maintenance of another addition of the Senate in favor of the establishment of a biometric Vitale card. This was the case, with the aim of combating fraud.
But there will be no tax on the “superprofits” of large groups, as demanded by the left and the far right. The Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, hammered home his opposition to the “Pavlovian reflex of the tax”. The idea of a supertax, already applied in Great Britain or Italy, had been revived by the net profit garnered by TotalEnergies in the second quarter: it more than doubled in the second quarter, to 5.7 billion dollars. The question is likely to resurface on the occasion of the 2023 budget in the fall.
In the amending finance bill for this year there is also support for local authorities affected in particular by the increase in energy prices, the increase in the index point for civil servants or the RSA, with a total envelope finally quantified to 600 million euros.
Bruno Le Maire tried to tighten the strings of public finances in the face of what he described as “one-upmanship” from the opposition. But had to give in several times after hiccups for the macronists in the Assembly, or votes against his will in the Senate.
The first component in favor of purchasing power, which obtained the green light from Parliament on Wednesday, includes the tripling of the ceiling of the Macron bonus that can be paid by employers, the 4% increase in retirement pensions and several allowances, as well as the “deconjugalization” of the allowance for disabled adults – added in a rare moment of consensus at the Assembly.
“Culture of Compromise”
“The culture of compromise is being built. This is what the French are asking of us, ”said Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne in the evening after this first parliamentary outcome.
The last votes on Thursday will mark the break in work until the start of the school year. However, there will be no extraordinary session in September for the first time in twenty years, an illustration of the desire to better prepare the texts upstream.