The executive can breathe a big sigh of relief. A month after its presentation in the Council of Ministers, the package of measures in favor of the purchasing power of the French was definitively adopted this Thursday by the Assembly and the Senate, following a final reading of the bill. of amending Finances (PLFR) in both chambers.
The presidential camp had to fight until the last minute on Wednesday evening to reach an agreement with the right-wing majority of the Senate during a joint joint commission (CMP) on the PLFR. A compromise was found in extremis on the food bonus which will be paid at the start of the school year, the last hard point of the negotiation.
The elected LRs of the Luxembourg Palace wanted to replace it with a flat-rate aid only for beneficiaries of the activity bonus and the AAH, halving the number of households benefiting from it. The CMP finally returned to the initial project, broadening its scope to all people receiving the activity bonus.
The government can rejoice in having succeeded in getting most of the measures it had included in the two texts submitted to parliamentarians voted on. He did not need to resort to article 49-3 of the Constitution as he had the possibility. Agreements have been reached with the opposition, mainly on the right, to pass certain contested measures. Sometimes at the cost of renunciations: the fuel allowance wanted by the executive was abandoned at the request of LR for an increase in the rebate at the pump from 18 to 30 cents at the start of the school year.
Although wanting to be in opposition, Les Républicains were constructive and voted for the texts after having obtained several modifications that they requested, in particular for everything relating to compensation for local authorities for increases in the salaries of civil servants.
The left and the National Rally, on the other hand, obtained almost nothing on their side, their demands being often at odds with what the government was proposing. They did not hesitate to denounce the “co-management”, even the “collusion” between the presidential majority and the right, which confirmed the key role it would play during the legislature.
“The culture of compromise is being built. This is what the French are asking of us,” Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne pleaded on Wednesday. “In responsibility, by building compromises as the French wished, deputies and senators adopted emergency measures for purchasing power. […] It is the daily life of many fellow citizens that will be improved ”, applauded Emmanuel Macron in a nocturnal tweet.
The government is also pleased to have succeeded in avoiding a skid of the bill in Parliament. More or less, the envelope of 700 million additional that he had granted to the two chambers was not exceeded, he assures. While the demands of the right-wing majority in the Senate represented 2.4 billion euros in additional expenditure, it is underlined in the presidential camp.
Another red line set by Emmanuel Macron which has not been crossed: that of the tax increase. The introduction of a tax on superprofits was ruled out in the Assembly as in the Senate, although elected officials from the presidential camp and from the center came out in favor of it. To avoid this, TotalEnergies was forced to agree to an increase in the rebate at the pump.
The “salty” after the “sweet”
There is no doubt that the debate on superprofits will resurface at the start of the school year. Negotiations on the draft budget for 2023 also promise to be more complicated. Otherwise more difficult in any case than those on the purchasing power package which only contained new expenditure. The “sweet” as it is recognized within the executive. It will now be necessary to pass the “salty”.