Food voucher, fuel discount… What to remember from measures on purchasing power

Jacques Serais and Aurélien Fleurot, edited by Solène Leroux with AFP
7:31 p.m., July 07, 2022modified to

7:42 p.m., July 07, 2022

Pressed by inflation, the government on Thursday completed its “arsenal of measures” intended to protect the purchasing power of the French, a passing exam for its relative majority in the face of opposition on the offensive and guardians of public finances. very skeptical. After already more than 25 billion euros on the table since autumn 2021 to mitigate the rise in energy prices in particular, the government has presented in two texts (a draft amending budget and a power of purchase) a new burst of aid, amounting to “twenty billion euros”, according to the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire.

“The hardest part, we are there, the inflationary peak, is now and (…) it is therefore now that we must complete our arsenal of measures to protect our compatriots”, he insisted to leaving the Council of Ministers.

Food voucher of 100 euros

Among the main measures are the early revaluations of 4% of retirement pensions and social benefits, the 3.5% increase in the salary of public officials, a food check of 100 euros, to which 50 euros will have to be added per child, the extension of the fuel discount from 15 to 18 cents and the tariff shield on energy, the abolition of the fee or even the tripling of the Macron bonus. But also an allowance in favor of active and alternating who take their car to go to work, launched on October 1 and which can reach up to 300 euros, depending on income and distance travelled.

Unsheathed measures while according to INSEE, the purchasing power of the French should fall by 1% in 2022, weighed down by inflation which would reach 5.5% on average over the year, unheard of since 1985. If the the need for such expenditure is rather shared, the adoption of these texts promises to be eventful with an Assembly where the presidential camp has only a relative majority and a Senate dominated by the right.

Scheduled for 7 p.m., the hearing of Bruno Le Maire and the Minister Delegate for Public Accounts Gabriel Attal by the Assembly’s Finance Committee, now chaired by the Insoumis Éric Coquerel, will be a baptism of fire. Responsible for the control of public accounts, the Court of Auditors and the High Council of Public Finances have already questioned themselves in the morning on the credibility of the forecasts of deficit (5%), growth (2.5%) and inflation (5%) of the government for 2022. “2.5% is possible, (but) it is based on very favorable assumptions”, alerted the boss of the Court of Auditors, Pierre Moscovici.

Intermediate path

“Our line will remain that of the restoration of public finances”, replied Bruno Le Maire, stressing again that “before redistributing wealth, it must be created”. But not necessarily by taking up the opposition’s proposals on purchasing power, the government said. Lower fuel taxes to bring prices down to 1.50 euro/l, as the LRs want, or block prices at 1.40 euro/l, as the left wants? Too expensive, according to Bercy. Smic at 1,500 euros? A threat to employment, we answer to the government.

“There are undoubtedly intermediate paths” to be found, we want to believe in the entourage of the Prime Minister, Élisabeth Borne having notably underlined in her speech on Wednesday to foresee possible “convergences” with the LRs. At the RN, Marine Le Pen, president of the group in the Assembly, “wants” that this bill, “urgent” for the French, “can be voted on”, but she criticizes the “gas factory” of the check for the “big wheels” and continues to plead for a reduction in VAT on energy and fuel prices from 20% to 5.5%.

At Nupes, we judge the text of the government “very, very far from being up to what the French expect”, according to the president of the Insoumis group in the Assembly, Mathilde Panot. The French “will take” checks for 100 euros, but “do they want to live on alms?” Asked LFI deputy François Ruffin on LCI. The Nupes thus plans to table numerous amendments to the bill. They will still have to be financed, we warn the government, recalling the “constrained” framework of public finances.

Source: Europe1

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