It is an exercise in unison which we must now get used to, on the left. On Wednesday, May 25, the leaders of the forces of the New Popular Ecological and Social Union (Nupes) developed a chapter of the “shared program of government” unveiled last week: that devoted to purchasing power. No coincidence in the choice of this theme, central to the campaign of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, which has become a totem including for the government of Elisabeth Borne, which intends to give pledges on this point throughout the legislative campaign in the face of inflation increasing, without presenting any legislation before the elections of June 12 and 19.
Faced with Nupes, economists are divided. Some, like Thomas Piketty welcome the return of social and fiscal justice. Others, like Philippe Aghion, former godfather of Emmanuel Macron in 2017, recently undertook a full attack on the Nupes program, perceived as the fruit of a “false-thinking” leading to disaster according to the words chosen by the latter in Les Echos. In a note for Terra Nova, the banker and associate professor at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Guillaume Hannezo, also predicts a disastrous future for the alliance: “Face the European, financial and monetary crises that await it by being preceded by a reputation for quite exotic Bolivarian affections; afflicted with an unprecedented deficit, entirely structural, and therefore with an explosive dynamic of public debt. »
Jean-Luc Mélenchon replied on Wednesday to “commentators” who “think that inflation is the result of a perverse loop between prices and wages”: “No it’s not true. It’s the profit/price loop (…) For us, the heart of inflation is speculation, excess profit, the interruption of global production chains for more or less distant causes of Covid and the war in Ukraine. …” Faced with those who accuse him of wanting to destroy the economy, the leader of Nupes assures on the contrary that he wants to do everything to avoid the “collapse” (“the collapse”) and to rectify the course, by doing, a- he said, “pay inflation on profits rather than wages.”
The measures presented have the advantage of achieving consensus among the Nupes forces: increase in the minimum wage to 1,500 euros net per month by decree, increase of 10% in the index point for civil servants, increase in retirement pensions so that no full retirement pension is lower than the revalued minimum wage, implementation of a “dignity guarantee” so that no Frenchman lives below the poverty line (1,063 euros for a single person), autonomy allowance for young people from the age of 18 but also the control of rents to “cut the chain of inflation”.
As for funding, it was the number one of Europe Ecologie-Les Verts (EELV), Julien Bayou, who was responsible for specifying it. In the event of victory in the legislative elections, he promised, the 10% revaluation of the public service index point would be financed by the return of the ISF in a reinforced form (revenue of 12 billion euros) , that of retirement pensions (25 billion) would be through social contributions to income that is now exempt such as dividends and overtime. The autonomy guarantee (25 billion) would be financed by a universal business tax.
Between the proposals of the Nupes and those of the Borne government (food voucher, tariff shield on gas, subsidies at the pump, tripling of the Macron bonus, end of the royalty on public audiovisual), two visions at the antipodes, even if the two poles share the idea of upgrading civil servants and, albeit differently, of freezing prices. This game of comparisons is all that Jean-Luc Mélenchon wants, decided to take on his always ground – social and purchasing power – the anointing of voters.