Elisabeth Borne activates Article 49.3, two motions of no confidence in sight

Elisabeth Borne activates Article 49.3, two motions of no confidence in sight

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne announced on Wednesday that she will assume her government’s responsibility for the Finance Law (PLF) for 2023, as provided for in Article 49.3 of the Constitution.

In the absence of a majority in the National Assembly, the government, which had denounced the desire to block the debates, deadlocks and “embolisms” on the part of the opposition, had last Wednesday authorized the Prime Minister to use this procedure, which allows a text , which is to be adopted without a vote unless the opposition succeed in persuading a motion of censure.

More than 3,000 changes

“We cannot take the risk of leaving France without a budget at a time when the threats are so numerous,” Minister Delegated for Public Finances Gabriel Attal had warned from the start of the first-reading examination of the budget for Emmanuel Macron’s second term in the assembly.

Almost 3,400 amendments were tabled on the first part of the PLF 2023 alone, that of revenue and the examination of this text, as well as the draft law on public finance programming for the years 2023-2027, which also started last week and was the subject of heated debates in the plenary hall.

Nupes MPs, some of whom laughed when Ms Borne said she had “chosen dialogue”, immediately walked out of the session. Immediately afterwards, LFI MP Mathilde Panot announced that a motion of no confidence would be filed “immediately”. Jean-Philippe Tanguy announced on behalf of the group that the RN should follow suit on Thursday with its own application.

Super wins are not taxed

After last-minute arbitrations on Wednesday, the executive branch added a hundred amendments to its original budget, mostly by the majority and some by the opposition, a government source pointed out.

These include bolstering the childcare tax credit, tax cuts for smaller businesses, providing local governments with a “safety net” against inflation, or removing a tax break for private jets. The total additional costs of these measures are expected to be around 700 million euros.

No talk of including the MoDem amendment taxing super-dividends, but passed with the support of the Left, the RN and even twenty Renaissance MPs. It is also a no to the PS proposal adopted at the meeting to establish a tax credit for the balance payable by all care home residents, deemed too expensive.

Minimal concessions

Under strong pressure to tax the extraordinary profits of large companies “benefiting from the crisis”, the government included in its text the fruits of an agreement reached between EU countries at the end of September. It translates into a “temporary solidarity contribution” from producers and distributors of gas, coal and oil based on their results in 2022. And by capping the revenues of electricity producers who have assumed from the mere fact of the link between the price of electricity and the price of gas and coal.

Measures that the Left and the RN have already deemed largely inadequate. The opposition accuses the government of “disrespect” for MPs by failing to retain a certain number of amendments, however endorsed by MPs, in the text tabled at 49.3, as approved by 49.3. The no-confidence motions stand little chance of overthrowing the government as the elected RNs have “a priori” barred from voting on a text of the Nupes and vice versa. While the LR MPs also refuse to vote for censorship at this stage.

The Council of Ministers already approved on Wednesday the use of 49.3 in the draft social security budget, which is due to be examined in the assembly on Thursday. Given this likely use and the fact that this tool can be used at multiple stages of the audit of the two households, ten 49.3 alerts could be triggered before the assembly by mid-December.

(with Reuters and AFP)

Reference: www.challenges.fr

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