Parliament adopts the amending finance bill, in which the right has managed to leave its mark

Before the parliamentary recess, the suitcase proved difficult to pack, but it’s done. Knitted, unknit, rich in invective as in suspensions of sessions in the early morning, the amending finance bill (PLFR) 2022 was definitively adopted by parliamentarians, Thursday, August 4. The deputies voted by 292 votes for and 120 against, and the elected representatives of the Luxembourg Palace by 233 votes for and 97 votes against. To validate the second part of its legislative package aimed at defending purchasing power – after the first adopted on Wednesday – the presidential camp was able to count on Les Républicains (LR), who voted in favor of the text, while the New People’s Ecological and Social Union (Nupes) voted against and the National Rally abstained.

Like a last stand, the Socialist group in the Assembly had tabled a motion of rejection before the vote, itself massively rejected. For Mickaël Bouloux (Socialist Party, Ille-et-Vilaine), who defended it, the government, in particular by refusing to increase the minimum wage, “only offers crumbs”. “It is a text of regression”added Marianne Maximi (La France insoumise, LFI, Puy-de-Dôme), “especially with the monetization of RTT which records the end of the 35 hours on the sly”.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers At the start of the school year, the executive forced to leave time for Parliament

This measure comes from the Senate, where the right is in the majority, and is only one of the illustrations of the weight it has been able to exert on the text, in particular to encourage work according to its philosophy. The Republicans demanded to perpetuate the possibility, for an employee, to have RTT redeemed by his employer in exchange for additional working days; the government did not say yes, but it nevertheless agreed to postpone the deadline for this device, from the end of 2023 to the end of 2025.

Biometric vital card

LR obtained, on Wednesday evening during the joint joint committee where deputies and senators harmonized their versions of the text, that the increase in the tax exemption ceiling for overtime – increased from 5,000 to 7,500 euros – is not limited in the time. On the other hand, the right did not succeed in depriving the beneficiaries of minimum social benefits of the exceptional back-to-school bonus, to reserve it for low-income workers receiving the activity bonus. Finally, these two audiences will benefit from the check, even if its amount could be reduced.

In the Assembly, the right had already distinguished itself by debating ways to fight against rising fuel prices. LR refused the government’s plan to replace the universal rebate of 18 cents per liter in favor of aid targeted at heavy drivers and low-income households, and preferred to maintain an indiscriminate discount for all motorists allowing bring the price per liter to around 1.50 euro. She lifted her dam when the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, undertook to increase the rebate from 18 to 30 cents in September and October – then to 10 cents in November and December.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Amending budget: the right and the presidential camp reach a compromise

In accordance with the promise made by Emmanuel Macron during his presidential campaign, the audiovisual license fee will be abolished. MEPs have proposed that a fraction of the VAT be used to replace it, up to 3.7 billion euros. The senators obtained that this signage be acquired only until the end of 2024, i.e., according to a press release from the Luxembourg Palace, “the time needed to implement real reform in the sector”.

Another example of the assurance of the right, the boss of the LR senators, Bruno Retailleau, felt strong enough to assure, on August 3 on RTL, that his camp would not vote for the PLFR if it did not provide for the implementation of a biometric Vitale card to fight against fraud in health benefits. It was heard, and the measure budgeted at 20 million euros.

“The only useful opposition”

Unsurprisingly, the left was not served. Its elected officials – as well as the extreme right – demanded loud and clear a tax on the superprofits of the large French groups, based in particular on the net profit earned by TotalEnergies in the second quarter – 5.7 billion dollars. Nothing like this is provided for in the PLFR, the Mayor having said several times all the bad things he thinks of the “Pavlovian reflex” of the left consisting, according to him, in wanting to increase taxes. Thursday, Eric Coquerel (LFI), the chairman of the finance committee, ruled on the contrary that “We need these revenues too much, if only to decarbonise the economy. Not taxing them is morally, politically, economically, financially and ecologically untenable”. This volley of adverbs will have remained in vain.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Despite its rejection in Parliament, the taxation of superprofits is essential in the debate

Among the other salient measures of the PLFR – which commits 44 billion euros in expenditure, including 9.7 billion for the State to buy back the 16% of EDF shares that it lacks – is the extension until the end of the year of the “tariff shield”, i.e. the capping of electricity and gas prices. The parliamentarians also obtained aid for local authorities, citing the revaluation of the active solidarity income (RSA) paid by the departments, inflation and the rise in energy prices, and the revaluation of the point of index of civil servants.

This legislative package voted, the fact remains that the ” compromise “ vaunted by the majority and its allies could pitch in the fall, when Parliament will debate a new finance bill for 2023. The Assembly’s finance committee intends to fuel the discussions with its “flash mission” on the taxation of superprofits, with a report expected in October.

In the meantime, the parliamentary right relishes its function as the hinge of the presidential majority. “Les Républicains deputies were able to have a large number of important measures adopted and played a decisive role in the service of the purchasing power of the French people”and represent “the only useful opposition”boasted MP Véronique Louwagie (LR, Orne), Thursday at the tribune of the Hemicycle.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers At the start of the school year, the executive forced to leave time for Parliament

source site-30