Posted on July 22, 2022, 10:06 AMUpdated on July 22, 2022 at 2:37 PM
Troubled for weeks, but each time dismissed, the threat of an extraordinary tax on companies profiting from the crisis has regained strength in recent days. Faced with the specter of this contribution and before the Assembly’s examination of the amending budget from this Friday afternoon, the two groups that are particularly targeted – Total and CMA-CGM – have recently announced the new measures against inflation.
“From September 1 to November 1, TotalEnergies will lower the price of gasoline sold at stations by 20 cents per liter compared to the prices formed by international market quotes, then by 10 cents per liter, from November 1 to December 31”, indicated a press release from the oil group on Friday. This rebate is in addition to the subsidy of 18 cents per liter given by the government to cope with the increase in the price of gasoline. At the end of June, the group led by Patrick Pouyanné announced a discount of 12 cents this summer at 120 motorway service stations.
The French maritime transport champion CMA CGM also showed this Friday in a press release new discounts on its prices, stressing that it “strengthens its efforts to support the purchasing power of French households and the economy “.
The group, which made a huge profit of 18 billion euros, will lower prices to 750 euros per container for imports from Asia from August. The carrier has already announced discounts for some of its customers at the end of June, but the government considers this effort insufficient.
The idea of a tax on “excess profits” long demanded by the left has gained momentum in recent days, as Spain has joined European countries that have adopted this solution. Some elected Republicans have shown themselves open to this proposal. And even within the majority of the president, voices openly call for this step to be taken so that the companies that have benefited from an annuity situation since the war in Ukraine show solidarity with the French.
During his interview on July 14, Emmanuel Macron remained evasive on this topic. “There is a contribution but it is not in demagogy,” he said, leaving the debate open.
Bercy, he has never hidden his opposition in principle to a new tax that, in his view, risks erasing the psychological impact of the many tax cuts granted to companies since the first five years term of Emmanuel Macron. “I prefer the money directly in the pockets of the French than the Pavlovian reflex of another tax in a country full of many,” repeated the Minister of Economy, Bruno Le Maire this Friday morning, on BFMTV.
Finally, the government’s strategy consists of raising this threat of a tax, which can be considered at the end of the year, to force the hand of companies.
“The president of Total understands that the French need immediate purchasing power,” continued the tenant of Bercy, this Friday on BFMTV. Bruno Le Maire talks about “intense negotiations”. On the subject of the term “crisis profiteers”, heard a lot in recent days, the minister called for a certain moderation: “Let’s avoid these rather brutal words”.
Fuel: Elisabeth Borne for doubling tax-exempt aid
Elisabeth Borne opened the door this Friday to doubling the tax-free help companies can pay employees to cover their fuel costs.
“The philosophy is to protect the purchasing power of all the French in fuel at the beginning of the school year, and those companies will take over,” said the Prime Minister, in an interview with the newspapers of the regional group of Hebrew press. “They can pay tax-free assistance up to 400 euros to their employees with high consumption, equivalent to a discount of almost 50 cents at the pump for an employee who travels 12,000 kilometers per year”, he added.
This new measure can be integrated into the amendment of the finance bill, its examination by the National Assembly will begin this Friday afternoon.