Pensions: Executive reopens consultations for reform in early 2023
The executive has decided to postpone its criticized pension reform and resume a new round of consultations with social partners and political forces with a view to passing a comprehensive bill “before the end of winter”, Elisabeth Borne told AFP on Thursday.
So there will be no “forced passage” on this highly explosive issue, as the majority feared, since Thursday, the first in autumn, is a day of strikes and demonstrations, not only on wages, but also as a warning shot for pensions .
At the end of a dinner at the Elysée around Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday evening, which brought together the leaders of the Macronie, “the choice of dialogue and consultation” prevailed, explained the Prime Minister, describing a relatively flexible but also firm promise by the President of an application of the reform in the summer of 2023.
The head of government wants to present “a balance sheet” of these talks with the social partners and political forces “before Christmas”, leaving almost three months of possible talks about a reform in the previous five-year term of office interrupted by the Covid 19 pandemic.
And “we support the inclusion of this reform in a bill to be voted on before the end of winter for the reform to come into force in the summer of 2023,” she added.
In this regard, Ms Borne called on Labor Minister Olivier Dussopt “to start negotiations next week” with employers’ associations and trade unions, as well as with “parliamentary groups”.
The “Long Career System” is on the menu for the consultations, taking into account “difficult”, “prevention of wear and tear”, “issues of phase-out development and transitions between employment”. and retirement”, “Employing senior citizens and combating discrimination to which senior citizens may be exposed”, “Special regulations”, “Increasing (to 1,100 euros, editor’s note) the minimum pension for people who have had a full career behind them ” and “in general, the adjustment of the parameters to ensure the financial balance of the system,” explained the Prime Minister.
– Procrastination and splits –
This decision, based, according to Ms. Borne, on “complete convergence between the different components of the majority”, puts an end to several days of hesitation and disagreement on how to initiate this pension reform, which in particular includes a “progressive deferral from the starting age of 4 months per year up to to 65 years in 2031,” Ms. Borne recalls.
If “the framework of this reform was clearly defined and also confirmed in the presidential campaign”, according to Ms. Borne, the method was discussed: Is it necessary to consider a simple amendment of the Social Security Financing Bill (PLFSS)? in October at the meeting, the most controversial lead and which especially the modem’s ally had shown? A pass through a corrective PLFSS in January? Or an ad hoc invoice?
This last option therefore seems to be favored by the executive at the moment…provided it succeeds in opening the consultations, while the unions and much of the political opposition are opposed to the content of this reform.
“There are important issues on which we would like to open the discussion and so we are putting ourselves in a hypothesis where we can have a consultation,” Ms Borne underscored, but refused to definitively rule out the possibility of an amendment to the PLFSS.
A dedicated bill also poses a major risk for the executive, which only has a relative majority in the assembly.
He could force him to sign Article 49.3 of the Constitution, which allows the adoption of a text without a vote except for a motion of no-confidence, but can only be used once per parliamentary session. On the other hand, it is possible to use this weapon to shoot at will the budget texts, which are therefore the PLFSS.
In general, Ms Borne intends to “use the coming weeks to appropriately reiterate the stakes” of the reform. “Because we haven’t talked about the topics for a long time, but about the method,” she complained.
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