The first part of the finance bill includes the “tariff shield” promised by the government to contain the rise in electricity and gas prices.
In the midst of a debate on the price of fuels and energy, the National Assembly must vote on Tuesday, October 19 at the end of the afternoon the first part of the 2022 budget, before delving into the accounts of Social Security in the middle week. After the traditional session of questions to the government, the deputies will vote the first part of the finance bill (PLF), devoted to revenue. It notably includes the “tariff shield” promised by the government to contain the rise in electricity and gas prices. For electricity alone, the loss of revenue for the state will amount to 5.1 billion euros next year.
An unknown remains for the rest of the budget discussion: what response will the executive provide to the soaring fuel prices, a highly flammable subject after the yellow vests crisis and six months before the presidential election? On Monday, the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire favored the track of a fuel check, on the model of the energy check, rather than a reduction in taxes on gasoline and diesel.
The government wants to quickly calibrate the measure, while prices at the pump increased by another 2 cents last week, reaching historically high levels at 1.56 euros per liter for diesel on average, and 1.62 euros for l ‘unleaded gasoline containing up to 10% ethanol (SP95-E10). Right and left are also putting pressure, and will not vote for this draft budget.
The deputies must then examine in the hemicycle the bill to extend the health pass, then, probably from Thursday and until the weekend, the Social Security budget, without an old age plan to meet expectations oppositions and certain votes of the majority. This last five-year Social Security financing bill (PLFSS) anticipates a deficit of 21.6 billion euros, much less than the two previous years, thanks to the growth and the gradual “exit from the crisis” of the Covid-19.
Most “A sustainable deficit of around 15 billion euros is expected” for the years to come, recognizes the Minister of Health Olivier Véran, according to whom “We will have to collectively define a structural solution”. “When will such reforms be expected?”, we ask at LR, for whom the government “Sprinkle with any wind”. On the left, after “All relative generosity” during the election period, we fear “Social regressions” like the pension reform.
In the meantime, the commitments of Ségur for health continue for 2.7 billion, most of which is devoted to the salary increase of nursing staff. The mental health plan must also be rolled out, in particular with support under conditions of consultation with the psychologist. At the heart of the debates, the section devoted to the elderly with loss of autonomy leaves many players unsatisfied. “The reform contained in the PLFSS is ambitious: it represents 400 million euros of new measures in 2022 and 1.3 billion in 2025”, claims Minister Brigitte Bourguignon.
To help stay at home, it is a question of establishing on 1 January a “Floor price” national (and not departmental as until then) of 22 euros per hour of service for home help services, in order to secure their funding and better remunerate employees. For nursing homes, a strengthening of the presence of caregivers, and up to 10,000 additional full-time equivalents over the next five years, is in particular programmed.
LR deputies are worried about the funding of these components, based on the CSG and the departments. Socialists criticize a plan not commensurate with the “Collective challenge of the aging of the population” mistake “Sufficient sustainable funding” for “The fifth branch” de la Sécu, dedicated to autonomy and dependence, and created last year. The rebellious deputies denounce “treason” and “Lies about the defunct law dedicated to old age and autonomy”, long hoped for and now abandoned. “It’s a bit of a shame that we haven’t managed to move forward” and “It annoys everyone a bit”, recognizes a LREM deputy.