Gérald Darmanin criticized after his call for donations for small businesses

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A budget minister should not say that … The words of Gérald Darmanin, Minister of Action and Public Accounts, in an interview with Figaro published online on the evening of March 30, did not fail to react on social networks and in the opposition.

“I am making a great appeal for national solidarity. Many individuals or companies ask us how to participate and help us. All those who wish will be able to do so soon, via a donation platform that we will put online ”, said Mr. Darmanin. He was answering a question about the national solidarity fund, operational from March 31 and which should help small businesses, the self-employed, microentrepreneurs and liberal professions whose activity has dropped due to the health crisis, thanks to a monthly payment of up to 1,500 euros.

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But, on the part of a budget minister who in principle has full discretion to levy the tax, who is also a member of a government which abolished the solidarity wealth tax (ISF) from January 2018, these About have sparked an outcry, especially on the left. “Darmanin is begging instead of re-establishing the ISF. Is this a test to measure the country’s outrage capacity? “, reacted in a Tweet Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the leader of La France insoumise. “Something like everyone’s contribution according to their means? A progressive tax? And let’s be crazy, even on fortune! “, for his part tweeted the socialist deputy Boris Vallaud.

“Over the past few days, several French people and businesses have told Gérald Darmanin of their wish to contribute to the national effort. He therefore wanted to set up a device allowing them to do so. Solidarity can also go through voluntary contributions and not always through taxes, especially in exceptional periods “, defends the entourage of the minister, who ensures that“There will be no consideration, these donations will not be tax exempt or exempt from social security contributions”. The platform will be put online ” At the beginning of next week “, indicates the minister’s office.

A second decree

Initially endowed with 1 billion euros for the month of March, the solidarity fund had been matched to the tune of 250 million by the regions. Insurers have also pledged to add $ 200 million, but other large companies have so far not responded.

However, the bill for this fund should prove to be higher than expected. Indeed, the conditions of eligibility were the subject of a lively debate between Bercy and the parliamentary majority, worried about the sling of the small bosses. While the decree published Monday March 30 reports a loss of turnover of 70% for the month of March and 50% for April to be able to benefit from the aid of 1,500 euros, a second decree will finally be published by Friday to lower the loss threshold to 50% in March.

Enough to extend the bill by about 500 million euros (to bring it to a total of 1.7 billion euros per month). The fund should ultimately concern nearly 1 million small businesses, including 200,000 to 300,000 microentrepreneurs. In addition, the Minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, said on Monday that he would be maintained as long as the state of health emergency was in force (two months at the moment).

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