In the National Assembly, lack of consensus for a tax on superprofits

Achieving consensus seemed a bit of an illusion. The “flash mission” of deputies responsible for investigating the superprofits of companies that have benefited from inflation has not made it possible to reach cross-party conclusions on the advisability of setting up an exceptional tax, to which the government is moreover opposite.

To work on this divisive subject, the elected members of the National Assembly’s finance committee had chosen a curious team, made up of the Renaissance deputy David Amiel, a former collaborator of Emmanuel Macron at the Elysée, and that of La France insoumise (LFI), Manuel Bompard, close to Jean-Luc Mélenchon, as part of a mission requested by the opposition. After nearly a month of hearings with business leaders, analysts and trade unionists, each of the two rapporteurs made their own recommendation on Tuesday 4 October.

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The taxation systems chosen by the other European countries, which the mission had the ambition to study, also gave rise to divergent analyses. The two co-rapporteurs nevertheless share a ” diagnostic “according to which the profits of certain companies can be called exceptional in 2021 and the first half of 2022,” admitted David Amiel, while Manuel Bompard cited “Total, whose profit doubled in the first half” or Engie, who had “the equivalent in the first half of its profit over the year before”.

Read also: Superprofits tax: from the Nupes to the RN, via certain Renaissance elected officials, the initiatives of parliamentarians are multiplying

Each of the groups should formulate their proposals

Unsurprisingly, David Amiel considers it preferable to rely on the European system being developed in Brussels. The European Commission intends to force electricity producers to pay back to the State the difference between their production price and the market price – knowing that France already has a mechanism of this type which should bring in 20 billion euros in 2023. The Commission is also planning a “temporary solidarity contribution” applying to producers and distributors of gas, coal and oil. It estimates at some 140 billion euros the revenue that can be drawn from these two mechanisms at European level, which have yet to be translated into national law. ” The right question is not so much the level of profits as the use made of them”, argued David Amiel, pleading for the profits generated to become “ great investments ” in the energy transition rather than “ super taxes “.

Manuel Bompard pleads for his part for the creation of a national tax on the profits of all companies whose profits have increased by more than 25% compared to a reference period (2017-2019), and whose turnover exceeds 750 million euros. This would be added to the European system, limited to energy companies only. He estimates the return at 9.2 billion in 2021 and 20 billion in 2022. Large companies that do not pay corporate tax in France, such as the shipowner CMA CGM or Total, would be taxed on their sales. , “ like in Italy or like the GAFA tax [Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon] in France “, he said Tuesday evening. The revenue from these taxes, designed to be sustainable, would be channeled towards households and investments in the ecological transition.

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