Published: 22.07.2022 – 06:07Modified: 07/22/2022 – 07:37
After four days of debate amid high tension, the National Assembly voted Friday on first reading in favor of an “emergency” purchasing power bill. This includes, in particular, the reassessment of pensions and the deconjugation of disability benefits for adults.
The National Assembly passed on Friday, July 22 morning, in the first reading, the bill on purchasing power, which led to four days of competition between the majority and various right and left opposition groups.
The text served as a test for the presidential camp. Now, deprived of an absolute majority, he had to count on the support of the elected LR and RN, who timidly welcomed some “advance payments”, while the left resented the project in the form of a “declaration of war on wages.”
After a night peppered with invectives, shortly before 6 am, the first major text of the legislature was approved by 341 votes to 116, with 21 abstentions.
“Green ayatollahs”, “fachos”, “energy nonentities”: the attacks flared up for long hours, sometimes giving the Assembly the appearance of an unmanageable fence.
A package of heterogeneous measures
Fighting could resume quickly as MPs begin consideration of a budget amendment bill Friday at 3:00 pm that completes these measures and includes some explosive proposals such as abolishing audiovisual license fees.
It is difficult to summarize the text adopted by the Assembly. Specifically, it provides for a tripling of Macron’s bonus limit to 6,000 euros, a 3.5% increase in the rental limit in France, and easier online termination.
Other measures envisaged by the text include an early reassessment of 4% of old-age pensions and social benefits, a 3.5% increase in the salaries of civil servants and a food check of 100 euros (plus 50 euros per child).
The estimated cost of this package of measures by the government: about twenty billion euros.
The energy component has been criticized
In a very rare moment of harmony, MPs voted unanimously on Wednesday to deconjugate the Disabled Adult Allowance (AAH), a measure that was demanded by all parties but abandoned by the executive branch during the previous legislature.
“The wrath of the people made you let go of the ballast,” Hadrien Clouet savored on behalf of the very aggressive LFI group.
The more measured Gerard Leseul of the PS group lamented that the leader’s method “hasn’t changed”, despite the stated desire to find a compromise.
In fact, the few opposition amendments that received government support came mainly from the bench of the Republic of Latvia. Summarizing his group’s position on the bill, Thibault Bazin also mentioned some measures that are going “in the right direction” but remain “grossly inadequate”.
In search of respectability, the RH, which expressed a desire to vote for the text, spoke of a “small but real increase in purchasing power”, despite numerous shortcomings.
It was from the side of the energy sector that the government text was subjected to very harsh criticism. To counter the possible shutdown of the Russian gas valve, the bill introduces measures that have caused a stir on both sides of the semi-cycle.
The left-wing deputies spoke out, in particular, against the introduction of derogations from environmental legislation in order to accelerate the commissioning of the LNG terminal in Le Havre, capable of transporting gas from countries other than Russia, and through which American shale gas could pass. .
Such a decision is “suicidal,” boomed environmentalist Delfina Bato. “If the solution is to replace Putin’s gas with US shale gas, that’s crazy.”
The performer tried to defend himself.
“We are talking about replacing one fossil fuel with another fossil fuel. Don’t allow more CO2 emissions,” said Energy Transition Minister Agnès Panier-Runache, but did not convince the left.
Another article in the text offering a legal basis for the upcoming re-start of the Saint-Avold coal-fired power plant has raised a roar from more than just the Greens. It also made LR and RN wince, who saw it as a “catastrophic” consequence of the government’s energy policy.
“A return to coal is not good news,” agreed LREM spokesperson Maud Bregeon, who, however, defended a “temporary” call to respond to the “exceptional situation.”
In the midst of tensions, a study of the text came up with a small surprise: permission, with government approval, to use used oils as fuel. “In France, we don’t have oil, but we do have oil for frying,” joked Julien Bayou (EELV), the author of this amendment.