To fight against inflation, the government lifts the veil Thursday, July 7 on a series of long-awaited measures intended to protect the purchasing power of the French, and which will be seen as a passing exam for its relative majority in the Assembly. facing opposition on the offensive.
“The urgency of purchasing power” is the “first challenge” for the government and Parliament, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne defended on Wednesday in her general policy speech to the National Assembly.
According to the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (Insee), the purchasing power of the French should, in fact, decline by 1% this year, weighed down by inflation which would reach 5.5% on average on the year, unheard of since 1985.
After already more than 25 billion euros put on the table since autumn 2021 to mitigate, in particular, the rise in energy prices, the government will present in two texts (a draft amending budget and a power to purchase) a new burst of aid for a roughly equivalent amount, of which the main ones are:
Energy: fuel discount, price shield and transport premium
The government has decided to extend at least until the end of August the fuel discount of 18 cents (in mainland France), introduced on April 1. Some 3 billion euros were budgeted for the period from April to June, which will therefore have to be supplemented in the amending finance law.
The government paved the way before the parliamentary debate for a further extension until the end of the year and the creation of a new “workers’ fuel allowance”, means-tested, which would concern employees and work-study workers who use their car to go to work.
The extension until the end of the year of the “tariff shield” (cap on electricity and gas prices) is also recorded.
Finally, the ceiling of the tax-exempt individual transport bonus that the employer can pay to the employee will increase from 200 to 400 euros for 2022 and 2023, and will be cumulative with the compulsory payment of 50% of the subscription to public transport. .
Retirement and disability pensions under the basic schemes will be increased by 4% from July 1. This increase, combined with the increase of just over 1% in January, is approaching the level of inflation, which reached 5.8% in June.
Basic pensions and social benefits
Family benefits and social minima, namely the active solidarity income (RSA), the allowance for disabled adults (AAH) and the solidarity allowance for the elderly (ASPA) will also be increased by 4%. Some of these social benefits had already been increased by 1.8% in April.
The 5.7 million public officials obtained a general increase, applicable from July 1, of 3.5% of the value of the index point, which serves as the basis for their remuneration, at a cost of 7.5 billion euros divided between the State (3.2 billion), local authorities (2.28 billion) and hospitals (1.99 billion).
Additional measures have also been announced, such as a 7% increase in State participation in the financing of collective catering.
A food check of 100 euros, plus 50 euros per dependent child, will be paid to 9 million households. In 2020, during the Covid-19 crisis, a similar bonus of 150 euros per adult and 100 euros per child concerned just over 4 million households.
The ceiling of the exceptional tax-free and desocialized purchasing power bonus, known as the “Macron bonus”, will be tripled. Companies will therefore be able to pay up to 3,000 euros to their employees, and even up to 6,000 euros for those who have set up a profit-sharing or participation scheme.
The average level paid per employee in 2021 was only 506 euros, against 1,000 euros authorized, according to the Ministry of Public Accounts.
A reduction in the contributions of the self-employed is planned. This measure, which aims to achieve greater equity between the contributions of employees and the self-employed, should allow the latter to earn 550 euros per year at the level of the minimum wage.
The benchmark rent index will rise by 3.5% in July and then remain stuck at this level for a year, a measure presented by the government as a compromise between the interests of tenants and landlords. Personalized housing aid (APL) will also be increased by 3.5%.
The abolition of the audiovisual license fee will finally be effective from the fall, with a gain for households of 138 euros, i.e. a shortfall of more than 3 billion euros, which the State promises to compensate with public broadcasters.
The Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, announced Wednesday in her general policy speech a revaluation of the scholarships. An extension of the university restaurant ticket at 1 euro for scholarship holders was also in the pipeline.