Assembly votes on support measures

The National Assembly voted Tuesday evening measures to support the press with a tax credit for a first subscription to a newspaper, as well as provisions targeting employees and caregivers, as part of the third amending budget facing the crisis coronavirus.

A tax credit to help the press. The deputies gave their approval to a governmental amendment which envisages a tax credit intended for the households, under means test, for a first subscription to a title of press of political and general information press. Of a maximum amount of 50 euros and granted only once, it will be equal to 50% of the expenses actually borne. “It is a commitment from the President of the Republic to the press, a sector which suffers enormously and which has not necessarily benefited from all the aid” during the coronavirus crisis, stressed the Secretary of State for the Economy, Agnès Pannier-Runacher.

Accessible until the end of 2022, the tax credit will be reserved for households whose reference tax income is less than 24,000 euros, this threshold having been reviewed by deputies when the government had initially planned for 10,000 euros. This limit will be increased by 25% for each additional half of the family quotient. The tax credit will relate to a subscription to a newspaper, periodical publication or online press service which “Presents the character of political and general information press”. Via an LREM subamendment, MEPs extended the scope of the system to subscriptions to quarterly publications.

The government amendment was not unanimous. Charles de Courson (Liberties and Territories) notably ironicized the “coincidence” an amendment establishing “A small system” to “make believe that we support the press” valid until 2022, the year of the presidential election.

The exceptional bonus extended to employees. MEPs also gave the green light, as in committee, to the possible payment until December of an exceptional bonus by companies to their employees. This premium, which can reach up to 1,000 euros, exempt from social security contributions and tax deductions, was created at the end of 2018 to respond to the anger of the “yellow vests”. It was due to expire on August 31. Noting the prevailing consensus and emphasizing the exceptional context linked to the coronavirus, Agnès Pannier-Runacher issued an opinion by “wisdom”.

The deputies also extended to private health establishments exemptions from income tax or contributions on exceptional premiums paid to caregivers engaged in the fight against coronavirus. Social and medico-social sector associations may also be affected.

The CITE for the better off. Earlier, amendments to make the wealthiest households eligible for the energy transition tax credit (ISCED) again for energy renovation of their homes, however, had been rejected after a heated debate. Elected officials from various quarters, including LREM and MoDem, had defended this provision as “A good signal” both for the building sector and for the ecological transition, some relying on the “Green wave” to municipal Sunday. The Secretary of State and the rapporteur Laurent Saint-Martin (LREM) nevertheless opposed it, the latter notably referring the debates to the recovery plan or the next budget in the fall.

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