Obscene. The word is out. “Emmanuel Macron has made raising taxes obscene”, launched Alain Minc, Monday, June 5 on France Inter. In the mouth of the essayist and businessman, the sentence was intended to be laudatory: by making the increase in compulsory levies a taboo, the President of the Republic managed to “ [rétablir] the confidence of the economic world vis-à-vis France”he estimated. “The positive results of the first five-year term are Europe (…) and the fact that[Emmanuel Macron] has made France business-friendly”, he still applauded. Allusion in particular to the abolition of the solidarity tax on wealth and the introduction of a “flat tax” on capital, in 2018.
And yet. While the government is trying to appease the country after several months of contesting the pension reform and to highlight its successes, in particular industrial ones, here it is jostled on its economic totems. And this even in his own camp. May 22, economist Jean Pisani-Ferryarchitect of the 2017 program, pleaded for a mive recourse to debt and an exceptional levy on the wealthiest in order to finance the colossal amounts linked to the climate transition.
On June 2, the rating agency S&P finally did not downgrade the tricolor debtbut the deadline gave Bercy cold sweats, a month later the snub inflicted by another agency, Fitch. As for the Institute of Public Policy, an independent research organization, it has just documented the very low tax rate paid by the ultra-rich. A paving stone in the pond, at a time when the challenges are multiplying in terms of supporting the most modest in the face of the economic upheavals to come.
Faced with these challenges to his policy, Emmanuel Macron is staying the course. Has he not erted, before his ministers, that the debate on the taxation of the rich is a “bullshit trap” ? “Work must pay, this is the guiding thread of our economic policy”hammered again the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, in an interview with the Sunday newspaper, June 4. Constancy or stubbornness?
“Macron wanted to take up the scheme of his predecessor François Hollande, by ping the “salty” measures [difficiles] before the “sweet”: reform pensions at the start of the five-year term, in order to free up money to then carry out other reforms”analyzes Xavier Ragot, president of the French Observatory of economic conditions.
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