“Purchasing power”: the government advances its law to give pledges before the legislative elections

Photo credit: Michael Pinler/Reuters

A government facing new rape charges and “new challenges”

This Monday, May 23, was held the first council of ministers of the Borne government. A meeting marked by the accusations of rape against Damien Abad revealed last Saturday, against which the government, put on the defensive, chose the “Darmanin case law”: guaranteeing the impunity of the former leader of the LR deputies as long as justice does not will not have condemned him.

A matter that Macron was careful not to address in his opening speech, preferring to put in the center his famous ” new method », appellant to ” build a new action in substance and form ” It front of ” new challenges that his ministers will have to face.

“Challenges” which refer in particular to growing inflation and the anger that is brewing in many sectors, forcing the new government to start by giving pledges in the field of “purchasing power”. It is in this logic that at the end of the meeting, Elisabeth Borne announced that the bill on purchasing power scheduled for the summer would be advanced and adopted in the Council of Ministers before the legislative elections. A choice which testifies to the feverishness of the government, faced with the economic situation but also with the challenge of the legislative elections, where the macronie will face a union of the left determined to trim its majority or even to conquer one.

Purchasing power: channeling social anger without (too much) affecting the interests of employers?

The bill “on purchasing power” will therefore be discussed ahead of the elections of June 12 and 17 to “ that it be presented to the national representation as soon as it is elected according to Olivia Grégoire, the new government spokesperson. This includes the maintenance of the price shield on gas and electricity prices, the potential maintenance of the discount on the price of fuel and the deployment of the food voucher – without specifying yet how it will be allocated.

At the same time, the government is trying as best it can to give guarantees in the field of social benefits, through the indexation of pensions to inflation, the thawing of the index point in the public service, but also around the “incentive” to companies to ” improve the remuneration of their employees ” through ” the sustainability and tripling of the Macron bonus “.

Measures in the form of “social” pledges which appear to be very limited, given not only the historic increase in inflation but also, more structurally, the low wages and pensions. In fact, the tinkering proposed by the government aims to compensate on the margin for real wage cuts in the face of employers’ refusal to raise wages, to prevent the dispute on this ground from intensifying in the coming months.

While participating in preserving the profits of employers and justifying wage austerity through its measures, the government nevertheless seeks to stage a pseudo encouragement for wage increases. A meeting thus took place on Monday between Bruno Le Maire and the employers’ organizations on this question during which the minister explained: ” we must no longer be able to say that it costs to work » relate The echoes. An injunction which is accompanied by the promise of reductions in production taxes, therefore a partial preservation of profits, but which remains powerless in the face of employers, headwind in the face of wage increases, arguing that these would lead to a reinforcement inflation, and instead demanding measures such as lower overtime pay.

Pledges before the legislative

For the macronie, these questions are inseparable from the imminence of the legislative elections, where his main opponent will be on his left. In a context of major crisis where the social question will take center stage, the government is concerned about the NUPES and the potential attraction of its social program, however limited it may be, and is thus seeking to cut off its grass underfoot.

At the same time, the macronie tries to put under the carpet key counter-reforms big of social tensions, starting with the pension reform. This weekend, Elisabeth Borne declared in the Sunday newspaper that ” 65 years old is not a totem “. ” No question of waving too strongly the red rag or the ball of the postponement of the legal age before the ballot » analyze The echoes.

On the other hand, “social dialogue” continues to be at the forefront of the government’s announcement, while the new Minister of Labor will organize a meeting with union leaders this week. Social pledges which could however very quickly cause concern in sectors of the dominant class, which fear since Macron’s re-election that the government’s promise of a “new method” will limit ultimately the application of the program of social attacks which it calls for but also which it “aggravates the deficits”.

In any case, the first day of the Borne government once again confirms the feverishness of Macronie. A breach against which the urgency should be to prepare a response to the height, to snatch wage increases for our whole class, without falling into the illusions conveyed by the “social dialogue” or the electoral promises of the NUPES.

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“Purchasing power”: the government advances its law to give pledges before the legislative elections

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