Purchasing power: a first component about to be definitively adopted

Purchasing power: a first component about to be definitively adopted

The end of the legislative tunnel is in sight: Parliament is preparing to definitively validate on Wednesday the first part of the package of measures in favor of purchasing power, on which deputies and senators have reached an agreement after pledges given to the right .

This “emergency” text, which carries a total of 20 billion euros in expenditure, will be definitively approved by the Assembly in the middle of the afternoon, then by the Senate at the end of the day.

Parliamentarians will also try in the evening to agree on the second part in favor of purchasing power, included in the rectified draft budget (PLFR) for 2022, which was voted on at first reading overnight by the Senate and could be definitively adopted on Thursday.

The first part provides for a 4% increase in retirement pensions and several allowances with retroactive effect from July 1, 2022, capping the increase in rents at 3.5% in France, and again tripling the ceiling for the Macron bonus that can be paid by employers.

Between rising prices and energy crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, “the hardest part, we are there for a few more months”, warned the Minister of Economy.

Present in the National Assembly throughout the debates, Bruno Le Maire showed himself “determined” to “protect the French economically” as during the health crisis, while making himself the guardian of public finances in the face of the onslaught of opposition.

In a rare unanimity, the deputies added to the package of measures the deconjugalization of the disabled adult allowance (AAH) – a provision refused by the government during the previous legislature.

In addition, the bill facilitates the restarting of coal-fired power plants and creates a derogatory regime to accelerate the supply of gas from a floating LNG terminal, to the chagrin of environmentalists.

The second part of the PLFR provides for the financing of 9.7 billion euros for a series of measures including the nationalization of EDF (AFP/Archives – Eric PIERMONT)

The second part of the PLFR provides for the financing of 9.7 billion euros for the nationalization of EDF, the continuation of the fuel bonus, the revaluation of the index point for civil servants, and disputed provisions such as the abolition of the audiovisual license fee, the sustainability of the possible takeover by RTT companies or even a possible biometric vital card.

But no tax on “superprofits” as demanded by the left and the extreme right.

The validation of this last text will mark the break in work until the start of the school year, after a summer marathon of three weeks on these measures taken in the face of galloping inflation (+6.1% in July over one year of after INSEE), which had been a major subject of the presidential campaign.

– “Double blade” effect –

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne came to thank the deputies of the majority on Tuesday for their “intense and tenacious presence in committee and in the hemicycle”, according to reports.

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne during questions to the government at the National Assembly on August 2, 2022 in Paris (AFP - Alain JOCARD)
Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne during questions to the government at the National Assembly on August 2, 2022 in Paris (AFP – Alain JOCARD)

“When some are noisy, we are force of proposal”, she argued in front of the LREM group, in reference to the guerrilla warfare led by the left alliance Nupes.

This examination was a test for the new “method” of seeking compromise advocated by the executive, deprived of an absolute majority in the Assembly since June.

In fact, the spotlight was given to the proposals of the LRs, who voted for the “emergency” bill in the Assembly at first reading, just like the elected RNs, “without sectarianism” in the words of the leader of the latter, Marine Le Pen. However, these two groups consider the measures insufficient.

On the left, the Socialists mostly abstained, while the rest of the Nupes voted against what it sees as a “declaration of war on wages”, with bonuses rather than general increases.

For its part, the Senate dominated by the right has left its mark, by capping the increase in commercial rents for SMEs at 3.5% for one year. And in the direction desired by LR, companies with 20 to 250 employees will be able to see their employer contributions reduced by 50 centimes per additional hour worked.

Deputy LR Thibault Bazin welcomes: “It’s the double blade effect, the right modifies and completes the texts in the Assembly then, on what we did not obtain, in the Senate”.

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