French lawmakers within the decrease home adopted a government-tabled emergency invoice earmarking €20 billion to deal with inflation and the ensuing social dangers within the early hours of Friday (22 July). The invoice nonetheless requires the Senate’s approval to turn out to be legislation.
Learn the unique French article right here.
After 4 days of debates, lawmakers agreed that €20 billion needs to be dished out to deal with inflation as they discovered a compromise on the ‘buying energy’ invoice proposed by the federal government of Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne.
Whereas inflation in France remains to be among the many lowest within the EU, the federal government, fearing social unrest as a result of rising inflation, nonetheless tabled the emergency measure.
On power, lawmakers permitted a gasoline worth freeze, a 4% worth cap on electrical energy payments, and an extension of the measure that provides shoppers a 15-18 cent low cost per litre of gasoline.
Going towards the federal government, lawmakers additionally agreed to lift the fastened worth at which EDF, the state-owned electrical energy utility, is obliged to promote a part of its electrical energy to its rivals by legislation. The fastened worth is predicted to achieve “at the least” €49.50 per megawatt-hour (MWh) in 2023, up from €42 in 2012.
Lawmakers, excluding left-wing and Inexperienced MPs, voted in favour of a brief exemption from the environmental legislation to briefly set up a floating methane terminal close to the port of Le Havre.
MPs additionally greenlighted the federal government’s plans to relaunch a coal-fired energy station in Saint-Avold, though most deputies mentioned they don’t seem to be notably completely happy in regards to the flip of occasions.
Pension and wage will increase
Lawmakers additionally voted on the proposed 4% pension improve, in addition to the three.5% improve for civil servants’ salaries and a few social advantages – although these are nonetheless beneath inflation.
Surprisingly, lawmakers have been additionally unanimous on now not making an allowance for the companion’s revenue when calculating the allowance for disabled adults from October 2023 – a follow associations mentioned didn’t give the disabled full independence. Macron’s majority lawmakers additionally backed the change regardless of their opposition underneath his earlier mandate.
On housing, lawmakers additionally voted in favour of capping rents at a most of +3.5% in mainland France and +2.5% within the abroad territories between July 2022 and June 2023. Housing allowances may even get a 3.5% enhance. Towards the federal government’s recommendation, the opposition restricted the rise in rents to + 1.5% within the so-called “rural revitalisation” areas.
On high of that, eight million households will obtain an distinctive €100 allowance firstly of the varsity yr.
College students who obtain grants may even proceed to learn from the €1 meal scheme and have their grants elevated by 4%. In France, greater than a 3rd of scholars obtain a grant based mostly on social standards.
Shoppers extra usually weren’t neglected of the combo, as lawmakers permitted a sequence of shopper safety measures, specifically, to facilitate the termination of on-line contracts and insurance coverage insurance policies.
The Left towards the invoice
However not everybody was so enthusiastic in regards to the invoice. Th,e left-wing alliance referred to as NUPES didn’t again the invoice as an entire however voted in favour of some measures akin to capping lease will increase.
NUPES not solely slammed the invoice for failing to guard buying energy and favouring some fossil gasoline sources but in addition criticised the federal government for favouring a rise in bonuses however opposing a invoice proposing to extend the month-to-month minimal wage to €1,500 – a invoice Marine Le Pen’s far-right Rassemblement additionally opposed.
Macron’s Renaissance deputies argued that the ceiling for tax-free bonuses – referred to as “Macron bonuses” – has tripled from €1,000 to €3,000 per yr, even reaching €6,000 in some circumstances.
Lately, 5 million staff incomes lower than thrice the minimal wage have obtained bonuses averaging €500 per yr.
For the reason that bonuses are tax-free, staff obtain the complete quantity however the quantity doesn’t go into pension, well being or unemployment contributions.
Within the absence of an absolute majority, Macron’s coalition in parliament solely managed to move their textual content as a result of backing from the right-wing Les Républicains celebration and far-right Rassemblement Nationwide. The LIOT group of independents and regionalists additionally helped the federal government move its invoice.
NUPES opposed the invoice with out exhibiting a unitary stance. Although about 20 lawmakers, primarily from the Socialists and Communist Occasion abstained, the remainder – together with your complete La France Insoumise and the Greens – voted towards.
The invoice should now be adopted by the Senate which is able to begin wanting into it subsequent week. If the Senate modifies the invoice, it is going to be as much as a joint home committee to achieve a compromise.
**Paul Messad contributed to reporting
[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic]