The Senate adopted at first reading, shortly before 4:00 am on Wednesday, the second part of the measures to support purchasing power. The senators voted for it by 225 votes against 101, with the left voting against.
This rectified budget for 2022 opens up 44 billion euros in credits, including 9.7 to finance the 100% renationalization of EDF. In particular, it provides for the continuation of the tariff shield on energy and the fuel discount of 30 cents per liter in September-October then 10 cents in November-December, as well as the revaluation of the index point for civil servants.
At the end of the day on Tuesday, the Senate voted, with the partial approval of the government, additional support for communities affected in particular by the increase in energy prices and the rise in the index point for civil servants, bringing the total budget of 750 million euros.
The senators also voted on Tuesday evening a government amendment to the draft amending budget for 2022 enacting aid of 230 million euros for homes heating with fuel oil, proposed by opposition deputies. In the National Assembly, the amendment of LR Jérôme Nury had been voted with the alliance of the oppositions Nupes, LR and RN, while the government defended a more limited measure of 50 million euros.
At the start of the night, the senators also satisfied a strong request from the president of the LR group Bruno Retailleau by voting 20 million credits to launch the implementation of a biometric Vitale card. Objective: to fight against fraud.
40 million for food banks
Provoking an outcry on the left, they replaced, against the advice of the government, the exceptional back-to-school bonus of 100 euros, reserved for social minima, with an exceptional increase of 150 euros for beneficiaries of the activity bonus. An envelope of 40 million euros for food banks, on the other hand, achieved consensus.
Several other “hot” points had been adopted on Monday, despite a barrage of fire from the left against “an alliance of the rights” between government and LR. With the support of the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire, the Senate has thus made permanent the increase from 5,000 to 7,500 euros of the ceiling for tax exemption for overtime, voted by the National Assembly for the year 2022 alone.
The High Assembly also voted, but against the advice of the government, the perpetuation of the possibility for companies to buy back the days of RTT from employees, planned by the deputies only until the end of 2023 – redemption exempt from taxes and contributions.
The Senate also voted to abolish the TV license fee, Emmanuel Macron’s promise. Like the Assembly, the Senate ruled out taxation of the “superprofits” of large groups, yet carried, in addition to the left, by the centrist group, the second component of the senatorial majority.
Towards a final adoption this week
Regarding the price of fuel, the general rapporteur did not wish to go back on the compromise found by the government with the LR deputies. Bruno Le Maire also deemed it “wise” to stick to the solution adopted by the National Assembly. He considers it possible to have, with discounts from distributors and oil companies, “a price per liter of petrol or diesel at the start of the school year around 1.50 euros”.
From now on, the executive aims for a final adoption of these provisions no later than Sunday. This will be done a priori from this Wednesday evening for the first part, with the “emergency” bill on which deputies and senators have reached an agreement in a joint joint committee. This Wednesday evening, they will also try to find common ground on the amending finance bill, which could, if agreed, be definitively validated on Thursday.