Parliament’s final green light for the first set of measures

First big piece of the mandate, this “emergency” text, which carries a total of 20 billion euros in expenditure, was largely validated in the National Assembly by 395 votes in favor, those of the majority, LR and RN.

The end of the legislative tunnel is in sight: Parliament definitively approved the first part of the package of measures in favor of purchasing power on Wednesday, after pledges given to LR.

First big piece of the mandate, this “emergency” text, which carries a total of 20 billion euros in expenditure, was largely validated in the National Assembly by 395 votes in favor, those of the majority, LR and RN. These last two groups, however, consider that the measures leave “a taste of unfinished business” or mark “small steps”.

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The deputies were 112 to vote against, all on the left, and 36 abstained.

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The elected LFI defended in vain a motion to reject a text, according to them of “regression”, which favors in particular bonuses rather than general salary increases.

In the process, the Senate dominated by the right gave its imprimatur to this bill, the subject of a compromise between the two chambers, by 245 votes against 27 and 72 abstentions. There too, the left was not in support.

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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 of the Macron bonus that can be paid by employers are programmed.

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

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

The Senate 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.

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

“Co-management” with LR

Parliamentarians will try in the evening to agree on the second part in favor of purchasing power, included in the draft rectified budget (PLFR) for 2022, which could be definitively adopted on Thursday.

It 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 of civil servants and disputed provisions such as the abolition of the audiovisual license fee, the perpetuation 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 far 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.

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.

“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, and the Socialists, who abstained, had a good game of criticizing a “co-management” or even a “collusion” of the executive with these parliamentarians.

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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