What the amending finance bill adopted by the Senate contains

What the amending finance bill adopted by the Senate contains

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The Minister of Economy Bruno Le Maire discusses with the Minister Delegate in charge of Public Accounts, Gabriel Attal, during the debates around the amending finance bill for 2022 in the Senate, August 1, 2022.

After two days of debate and more than 550 amendments examined, the second text of the purchasing power package, which constitutes the amending finance bill (PLFR) for 2022, was adopted on Wednesday August 3 in the early morning by the Senate, by 225 votes for and 101 against. It opens 44 billion euros in loans, including 9.7 billion to finance the renationalisation of EDF.

Like the exchanges conducted around the bill for purchasing power, the debates on the PLFR were agitated on the benches of the Senate. The text was to be the subject of discussions between senators and deputies, Wednesday evening in the Joint Joint Committee, to try to find an agreement on a final version.

Read also: Purchasing power: the Senate adopts the amending finance bill

If there is a compromise, the bill will be submitted on Thursday for the last time to the vote of the parliamentarians of the two chambers. In case of failure, he will go back to the second examination. The parliamentarians are counting on a final adoption no later than Sunday August 7, but the extraordinary session could be extended if necessary. Overview of the main changes adopted by the elected officials of the Luxembourg Palace.

  • Abolition of the audiovisual license fee

After the deputies, the senators ratified the abolition of the audiovisual license fee which makes it possible to finance public broadcasting. Emmanuel Macron’s campaign promise, the measure provides for the replacement of this financing by an arrow of” a fraction “ VAT of around 3.7 billion euros, but raises many concerns about the future independence of the public media.

Like the deputies of Nupes, the senatorial left fiercely opposed the abolition of the contribution, adopted by 197 votes against 147, a difference of votes much tighter than at the Palais Bourbon. Culture Minister Rima Abdul-Malak announced “the government’s desire to propose a one-year extension of the objective and means contracts of public audiovisual companies” in order to “to take the necessary time” to the implementation of the reform. The senators decided to extend this provision until December 31, 2024.

Read also: The Senate votes to abolish the audiovisual license fee
  • 750 million euros in compensatory aid to local authorities

Although the government did not originally provide for any compensation to local authorities to cope with the various increases in their expenditure induced by the measures of the purchasing power bill and the PLFR, the Assembly had already forced the State to allocate 120 million euros to the departments to fully compensate for the 4% increase in the active solidarity income (RSA) and to grant 180 million euros to certain municipalities for the thawing of the index point for civil servants.

The Luxembourg Palace strengthened these provisions on Tuesday, bringing the total envelope to 750 million euros. First validating in the same terms as the Assembly the amount of aid on the RSA, they then expanded the list of municipalities eligible for the unfreezing of the index point and raised the rate of compensation for energy and food expenses. for school canteens.

The Chamber of Territories also added to the list the total recovery by the State from the regions of the 4% increase in the remuneration of trainees in vocational training. The repeated request of elected officials to align the overall operating grant paid to communities by the State with inflation was however rejected.

On this aspect, the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire welcomed “considerable effort” do “fairly” by the senators, highlighting “the remarkable work of compromise made by the general rapporteur” of text, Jean-François Husson (The Republicans, LR).

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Everywhere in France, municipalities are in turn caught in the inflation trap
  • Targeting aid to precarious and working households

Regarding fuel aid, the Senate, dominated by the right, did not wish to reconsider the compromise agreed between the government and LR in the Assembly, for an increase in the rebate from 18 to 30 euro cents on the price of liter of fuel.

Against the advice of the government and the revolt of the left, the senators, on the other hand, voted to replace the exceptional back-to-school bonus of 100 euros provided for beneficiaries of social minima by an exceptional increase of 150 euros intended rather for beneficiaries of the activity bonus and allowance for disabled adults.

The envelope of 230 million euros to support homes heating with fuel oil, carried by the deputies, has been validated and support of up to 40 million euros has been approved for food banks.

If the elected representatives of the left and the center have returned to the charge for a taxation of superprofits, they have been hampered in their enterprise by the right, passing 22 votes for the adoption of the measure.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Despite its rejection in Parliament, the taxation of superprofits is essential in the debate
  • Durability of systems on RTT and overtime

In agreement with the initiative of their counterparts at the Palais Bourbon, the right-wing senators and their center allies voted in favor of the possibility of the buy-back of RTT days by companies and the increase in the tax exemption ceiling for overtime 5,000 to 7,500 euros.

Under the diatribes of the left and the partially unfavorable opinion of the government, they even went further by acknowledging the sustainability of the two measures, while the increase in the overtime ceiling was only planned for the year 2022, when the redemption of the RTTs was contained to the years 2022 and 2023.

They also validated the doubling of the tax-free aid that companies can pay to employees to cover their fuel costs (from 200 to 400 euros).

Finally, one more step towards compromise towards the right, the Senate also released 20 million euros in credits, normally allocated to state medical aid, to launch the implementation of a Vitale card biometric, with government approval.

Read also: Takeover of RTT: elected officials, experts and trade unionists denounce “a Trojan horse of social regression”

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