INFLATION – This was already the spirit of the “fuel allowance for workers” presented to the Council of Ministers on 7 July, it is also the choice that the government intends to make and implement from 2023 to replace the tariff shield. Having emerged from the measures to support purchasing power for all French people, the government wants to prepare more targeted measures, especially for the benefit of the most precarious French people or those most affected by the increase in prices.

“We will not expose the more modest French people to reckless increases in the price of energy”, explained Élisabeth Borne first, in front of the press gathered for the economic meetings organized in Aix-en-Provence (Bouches-du -Rhône), to justify the implementation of this measure at the end of 2021. “If there was no shield” on the price of gas or a cap on electricity prices, “Electricity would be a third more expensive and gas 45 to 50%” more expensive, he argued once again.

“We must help those who really need it”

“We cannot imagine asking the French, starting with the modest French, to pay 45% more for gas or a third more for electricity”. However, given the cost of the tariff shield for the state, “we must move from general mechanisms to more targeted mechanisms”, he judged, explaining that “the works are in progress”.

We recall that, in the face of the surge in energy prices, the government forced suppliers to limit the increase in their prices to 4% for 2022, since the State and EDF have to bear the cost of this measure alone. . A measure challenged by trade unions, consumer associations and members of the opposition who saw it as a “sleight of hand”, promising a recovery on prices from 2023.

This paradigm shift for January 2023 has been clarified in the wake of Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire, also present at these Economic Meetings. “We are now at the center of the peak of inflation which will last for several months yet, so we need to move to more targeted support” for the low-income people who suffer most from inflation.

“We must help those who really need it”, he stressed, adding that “our policy will continue to be a procurement policy”. “We will not replace a supply policy that has given good results with a demand policy that would fuel inflation”, continued Bruno Le Maire, who “confirmed with great seriousness that we have reached the level of alert on public finance “.

On Thursday, the government has already announced that aid for people who drive to work will take over in October at the general discount of 18 cents on the price of a liter of fuel, which will gradually decrease and then end definitively in December.

A tax on the “excess profits” of some companies?

When asked about whether to introduce a tax on any “excess profits” that energy companies would make from the sharp rise in energy prices, Elisabeth Borne was more evasive. “In principle, of course, if there are people making super profits from the crisis, we would like this to benefit everyone and ease the burdens that the crisis can generate,” she said.

“After that, it’s not entirely easy,” he quickly faded. “Many of our neighbors have mechanisms in place to tax these excess profits,” but “we are not in the same situation” in France, she added.

On the one hand, “EDF today has production difficulties on its nuclear fleet and we import massively” electricity from abroad, underlined the prime minister, thus excluding the existence of “surplus revenues” for the energy company. On the other hand, “we have oil companies that have distribution activities in France (but) that don’t generate super profits,” he noted.

See also on The HuffPost: From applause to boos, a heterogeneous national assembly confronting Élisabeth Borne

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