With the ax of 49.3 in mind, the budget battle restarts in the National Assembly

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The deputies start discussions on the finance bill on Monday afternoon. Faced with opposition from all sides who are determined not to let the budget pass as it is, the government should force the passage of its text thanks to 49.3.

It’s hard to imagine the government doing without 49.3. The deputies start, Monday, October 10, in the hemicycle the tumultuous examination of the draft budget 2023, a text that the government is already preparing to pass without a vote, for lack of an absolute majority for the macronists.

The session should open at 4 p.m. with the intervention of the ministers and the various political groups. Then the National Assembly will begin, probably on Tuesday, to tackle the more than 3,000 amendments tabled on this first part of the finance bill (PLF), which includes in particular a “tariff shield” of 45 billion euros. in the face of soaring energy prices.

MEPs must first consider the 2023-2027 budget trajectory. Less important than the PLF, this programming bill was rejected last week in committee at the big dam of the government, which fears consequences for the payments of European funds to France.

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It’s a whole budget marathon that begins until December, shrouded in the uncertainties of this new bubbling Assembly, since the June legislative elections which deprived Emmanuel Macron of an absolute majority.

Too expensive for the right, “austerity” for the left, “submitted” to Brussels according to the RN: the oppositions have ruled out supporting this 2023 budget. And the “Bercy dialogues”, organized in September by the government with deputies from all sides have changed nothing.

“No new expenditure” if it is not “financed to the nearest euro”

Recourse to Article 49.3 of the Constitution therefore seems inevitable. In the hand of the executive, this tool makes it possible to pass a text without a vote, unless a motion of censure is adopted.

“Our responsibility will be to assume to engage 49.3 sufficiently early if the oppositions block the debate morning, noon and evening”, hammered Sunday the leader of the Renaissance deputies Aurore Bergé.

Based on optimistic economic assumptions, this finance bill plays a balancing act between the desire to “protect” the French against soaring energy prices and that of not digging into the debt.

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The ceiling set is to contain the public deficit at 5% of GDP, despite the “tariff shield”, an increase in teachers or the creation of more than 10,000 civil servant posts, including 3,000 police and gendarmes.

“No new expenditure” can be given during the parliamentary debate if it is not “financed to the nearest euro”, has already warned the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire, produces little grain to grind.

The oppositions will however not hesitate to advance their pawns. The idea of ​​taxing “crisis profiteers” will make a comeback in the hemicycle. The left opposition Nupes (LFI, PS, PCF and EELV) hopes to obtain a referendum on these “superprofits”, but will immediately propose a tax on the exceptional profits of the largest companies.

“Something will happen every day in the hemicycle”

Weakened by the Quatennens and Bayou affairs, the Nupes hopes to bounce back on the social front, even if the government has stalled on the pension reform, and calls for a march “against the high cost of living” on October 16.

The RN is also pushing for the taxation of “superprofits”, but the majority rejects the idea of ​​a new tax targeting all sectors of the economy, and postponed to the agreement being finalized at European level to make use of energy companies.

The deputies also had to scrap around the progressive abolition from 2023 of the CVAE, a production tax. A measure contested by the Nupes, which hopes for allies on the right on this point, but also by deputies of the majority sensitive to the discontent of the local authorities collecting this tax.

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne tried on Friday to calm things down by promising an increase in their overall operating grant (DGF), to 320 million euros instead of 210 million initially announced.

With so many sensitive issues, “something will happen every day in the hemicycle. We will often be beaten”, fears a framework of the presidential majority. The macronists had a taste of it in committee, where they lost a series of votes, including the rejection of the introductory article which sets the objective of containing the public deficit at 5% of GDP.

With AFP


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