The senators, mostly on the right, maintained Thursday in the hemicycle their refusal to perpetuate the new “Macron bonus” for all companies, limiting it, against the advice of the government, to those with less than 50 employees.
The Senate voted by a show of hands the first article of the purchasing power bill which provides for the continuation until December 31, 2023 of the exceptional tax-free and desocialized bonus, introduced in 2019 during the yellow vests crisis, but with a tripling of the ceiling of this bonus.
Employers will be able to pay until this date an exceptional bonus of a maximum amount of 3,000 euros (or 6,000 euros in the event of a profit-sharing agreement), exempt from income tax and social security contributions, for employees whose income is equivalent to less than three times the value of the minimum wage.
According to the impact study carried out by the government, more than 15 million people benefited from this bonus between 2019 and 2022, for an average amount of the bonus amounting to 542 euros.
The government also wishes from 2024 to perpetuate the bonus in the private sector, in the form of a “value sharing bonus”. This will only be exempt from social contributions, up to a limit of 3,000 euros (6,000 euros in the event of a profit-sharing agreement).
The senators refused to perpetuate this new bonus for all companies, which they renamed “purchasing power bonus”. They have reserved it only for companies with fewer than 50 employees.
“It is a stumbling block” with the government, recognized the rapporteur LR Frédérique Puissat, who also spoke out against the use of the term “Prime Macron”, “used wrongly, because it is not is paid neither by the government nor by the President of the Republic”.
The government did not object to another amendment made by the Senate: the splitting of the bonus will be limited to four installments, to prevent it from replacing salary increases.
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The left fired red bullets against the very principle of the bonus, believing that it was unequal, replaced salary increases, and was “a shortfall” for the Social Security budget.
“It is the concrete translation of neoliberal ideology (…) always harmful for employees, always profitable for employers”, according to the president of the PS group Patrick Kanner. “A blow from the digger” to our social protection system for his colleague Laurence Rossignol.
“84% of employees will not receive anything,” said Fabien Gay (CRCE with a communist majority). “It is not by tripling the amount authorized that we will triple the amount paid,” said ecologist Raymonde Poncet Monge.
Previously the Senate had rejected amendments brought by the left aiming to bring the minimum wage to 1,500 euros net.