Friday, 14 January, 2022

Matignon closes the door on an income tax for all

Barely mentioned, already buried. Matignon closed the door on Sunday to Minister Jacqueline Gourault’s proposal to make all French people pay income tax, including the most modest, an idea strongly criticized by the entire opposition.

In the midst of a great debate supposed to respond to the crisis of “yellow vests”, and “to recreate the link between citizen and tax”, the Minister of Territorial Cohesion sees it as a way out, while less than one in two households (43%) pay this tax today.

“Everyone could contribute up to their means, including the most modest, even in a very symbolic way”, if only “one euro”, she explained in Le Journal du Dimanche, while being pronouncing for a reflection on “the contribution which should bring the very high incomes”, via for example a new tax bracket.

But right and left reacted strongly, denouncing both a Lépine competition for ideas on taxation, a minister who forgets that the most modest already pay VAT or CSG, and a lack of government will to instead tackle tax evasion.

From the Agricultural Show where he was visiting, François-Xavier Bellamy, head of the Republicans list for Europeans, called on the government to “stop with this kind of fiscal inventiveness game” and instead “to lower” taxes, in view of the current “purchasing power crisis”.

If the minister places the subject on the ground of symbolism, the income tax for all “perhaps interesting” but only “in mirror” of another tax symbol, “the re-establishment of the ISF for example” , claimed by the “yellow vests”, noted Sébastien Chenu, spokesperson for the National Rally, on BFMTV.

On the left, the head of the France rebellious list for Europeans Manon Aubry underlined in a tweet that “make everyone pay income tax without making it more progressive (by passing it from 5 to 14 brackets as at its creation). ) would make no sense “.

“Shaking hand”

The track mentioned by the minister, in fact an Arlesian who has been coming back for years, has caused a reaction even in the ranks of the majority. “Let’s fight against tax evasion, tax annuities and GAFA. But no measure which accentuates” the “feeling of fiscal injustice” between “big” and “small”, tweeted LREM deputy Aurélien Taché.

In fact, Matignon quickly ruled on Sunday, ten days after the return to the carbon tax debate which had also provoked strong reactions, already leading Emmanuel Macron to reframe the debate.

“The trail of a universal income tax is not being studied,” the Prime Minister’s entourage told AFP. “The French already pay tax from the first euro with the CSG. All pay VAT”, it was recalled, and the executive has committed to “lower” taxes. Income tax brought in 77 billion euros in 2017, against 188 billion in VAT.

Three to three weeks from the end of the great debate, the subject of “tax justice”, one of the four themes of the great national debate, remains however at the heart of the demands of many “yellow vests”.

The equation “will not be resolved in a few weeks, but the advantage of the great debate is that it can allow the opening of long-term projects”, noted François Bayrou, president of the MoDem, ally of the majority. , Sunday in the program Grand Jury RTL / Le Figaro / LCI.

According to him, there is a need for “a flattening” of taxation, around a “vision”: “a tax which is very broad and fair at the bottom of the income scale and at the top of the income scale”.

The European Commissioner for Economic Affairs Pierre Moscovici, for his part, advised “not to touch too much on taxation or to do it with a trembling hand”. In any case, “you will not restore consent for the poorest if there is the feeling that the richest are not paying,” he said on Europe 1 / CNews / Les Echos.

Le Gendre (LREM) for “a variety of measures”

It is necessary to leave the great national debate with “a panoply of measures” in terms of taxation, with a view to “an overhaul” of the tax system which will take “several years”, estimated Monday Gilles Le Gendre, the leader. of LREM deputies.

After the end of non-receipt opposed by Matignon to Jacqueline Gourault who on Sunday relaunched the idea of ​​an income tax for all, Mr. Le Gendre argued on RTL that “for the moment nothing is up to the ‘study”. “The tax loopholes, the return of the carbon tax, the re-establishment of the wealth tax, the universal tax, all this shows one thing: if we enter the tax debate with a single measure, we will achieve nothing”, he estimated.

According to him, from the debates organized across the country, it emerges the wish of the French to “pay less taxes and charges, that the system be less complex, that it be fairer”.

“These objectives, we will achieve them only by a panoply of measures, a review (…) which will make it possible to address several subjects: household taxes, direct, indirect, local taxation, and this review. will take time, it will take several years to complete it, ”he added.

Asked also about the negotiations around unemployment insurance and the track already mentioned a few months ago of lower compensation for senior executives, he indicated that “levels higher than anything found in all other countries “reached by their benefits were” part of a number of dysfunctions of unemployment insurance. “There are others that we want and need to tackle,” he said, without further details.

(with AFP)


Income tax