Senators must overcome this first part of measures by Saturday, before embarking on Monday in the draft amending budget (PLFR) for 2022.
The government is counting on a final adoption of these two texts, voted in pain by the National Assembly, for the end of next week, at the latest on August 7.
The first is calibrated at 20.7 billion by the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire, the second opening 44 billion euros in credits, including 9.7 to finance the 100% renationalization of EDF.
Fabien Gay (CRCE with a communist majority) noted that the High Assembly was approaching this second day of debate “in a new context”.
“I see that inflation is no longer 5.8 but it is 6.1. And as we are the Parliament, and a living Parliament, I think that we should adapt the measures to this new data”, added he added.
The consumer price index, of which INSEE published a first estimate for the month of July on Friday morning, has just crossed the 6% mark (6.1% over one year after 5.8% in June) .
“Inflation remains our number one concern. But we anticipate a drop” in 2023, declared Bruno Le Maire after the Council of Ministers.
The Senate gave merchants a boost on Friday, with the support of the government. It adopted an amendment by former minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne (RDPI with a majority En Marche) to cap the increase in commercial rents for SMEs at 3.5% for one year.
The senators had previously approved the “rent shield” for individuals which also provides for a cap on the variation of the rent reference index at 3.5% from July 2022 to June 2023.
– “Sweet eyes” –
On the energy side, several senators stressed the need to better “anticipate”. “Let’s be attentive to our decisions, the energy transition is no longer understood by our fellow citizens”, warned LR René-Paul Savary, at the time, he said, when Emmanuel Macron made “soft eyes at the prince” to inherit Saudi Mohammed bin Salman to “import his oil”.
The Minister for Energy Transition Agnès Pannier-Runacher mentioned for the “return to parliament” in October, the bill “accelerating the energy transition”, mentioned for several weeks to simplify the development of renewable energies, wind and solar. “A priori the Senate would be the first to examine” the bill, before its passage to the Assembly, she slipped.
Via an amendment by the socialist Franck Montaugé, the senators limited the duration of the exceptional measures for the supply of gas to France to two years instead of five, against the will of the government. These emergency measures include, for example, the possibility for the executive to restrict or suspend the activity of gas-fired power plants. The senators wanted the government to return to Parliament to request the extension of these devices beyond two years.
On Thursday, the Senate also voted to continue until December 31, 2023 the “Macron bonus”, the ceiling being raised to 3,000 euros or 6,000 euros in the event of a profit-sharing agreement. But it reserved only for companies with less than 50 employees the perpetuation, from 2024, of a premium exempt from social security contributions.
Despite a lively debate on the revaluation of the RSA, it also recorded a 4% increase in retirement pensions and several allowances (family, social minima) with retroactive effect from July 1, 2022, as well as the deconjugalization of the disabled adult allowance. (AAH).
The senators have also created a reduction in employer contributions, for overtime, provided for the possibility of early release of employee savings and relaxed the rules for the use of meal vouchers.