Nupes presents a bill to tax superprofits and try to obtain a referendum

The New Popular Ecological and Social Union (Nupes) presented, on Wednesday September 21, to the Assembly a bill to tax the superprofits of large companies and to try to obtain a referendum of shared initiative (RIP), a procedure of long term which must first be validated by the Constitutional Council.

The text was signed by two hundred and forty parliamentarians, said the first secretary of the Socialist Party (PS), Olivier Faure. The law proposal of the left-wing coalition (composed of La France insoumise, the PS, the French Communist Party and Europe Ecologie-Les Verts) should, in the event of the agreement of the Constitutional Council within a month, obtain nearly five million citizen signatures in nine months to trigger a referendum.

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“We hope that this procedure will create a balance of power” with the presidential majority, underlined Mr. Faure, while the debate on the taxation of superprofits, in a period of sharp increase in energy prices and high cost of living, will punctuate budgetary discussions all autumn in Parliament. "What big companies don't pay, everyone else does"added the first secretary of the PS.

Before a hypothetical referendum in several months, the "rebellious" deputy Eric Coquerel, head of the finance committee, hopes "Win This Battle" in the fall, through amendments to the 2023 draft budget.

Read also: Where does the notion of “superprofit” come from and what does it really mean?

Some large companies targeted

The text of the Nupes plans to tax the superprofits of " large companies ", “mostly multinational”with a turnover of more than 750 million euros, all sectors combined.

And the left points to targets: the oil group TotalEnergies, the pharmaceutical group Sanofi and the shipowner CMA CGM, in sectors where “exceptional profits, decorrelated from any innovation, productivity gain or internal strategic decision within the company”.

The " contribution "which would apply until 31 December 2025, would affect companies whose additional taxable income is at least 1.25 times higher than the average income for the years 2017, 2018, 2019, with a progressive tax scale of 20%, 25 % or 33% of the superprofits.

On the side of the presidential majority, a tax is not “neither a totem nor a taboo”estimates the deputy David Amiel, but the macronists favor a “European solution to avoid distortion of competition” between countries.

The European Commission is proposing " a contribution " producers and distributors of gas, coal and oil and would like to cap the income of producers of electricity from nuclear and renewables, which reap exceptional profits.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Superprofits, tax loopholes: part of the majority wants to toughen the tone vis-à-vis companies

The RIP procedure has never been completed since its introduction into the Constitution in 2008 - but its implementation is only possible since 2015. A previous RIP proposal, against the ultimately aborted privatization of Groupe ADP (formerly Aéroports de Paris), had collected 1.1 million supporters, far from the necessary threshold.

The World with AFP

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