The upper house, dominated by the right-wing opposition, rejected amendments from the left and centrists.
The right-wing opposition-dominated Senate on Saturday evening rejected superprofit taxation by rejecting amendments from the left and centrists that planned to tax the windfall profits of big corporations against government advice. The senators rejected an amendment from the left by 181 votes against 97 and another presented by the centrists on a tighter result of 181 votes against 152 during the examination in first reading of the finance bill for 2023.
The left has revived the debate on this controversial subject in the Senate, after the decision of the Constitutional Council which buried its hopes of obtaining a referendum on the taxation of “superprofits“. During the debate, Communist Senator Éric Bocquet denounced a government that “refuses to seek the superprofits“. “Refusing this exceptional contribution is a bad message sent to the French“, affirmed, for his part, the senator of the centrist group Bernard Delcros.
In his response, the Minister of Public Accounts Gabriel Attal justified his rejection, assuring that this measure “would also overtax companies that have had nothing to do with the current situationof skyrocketing energy prices. The Senate had already rejected this summer the idea of a tax on “superprofits” Where “windfall profits” of the large groups, after another combined offensive of the left and the centrists.
A “contribution” at EU level
The presidential majority, after cracks appeared within it on the question, seems to have sided with the position of the government, for which the solution has been found: it is the agreement concluded on September 30 between the Member States of the European Union. The European Commission then indicated that it wanted to claim a “temporary solidarity contributionto the producers and distributors of gas, coal and oil who are making massive profits thanks to the surge in prices following the war in Ukraine.
It must be set at 33% of the share of the superprofits of 2022, i.e. profits more than 20% higher than the average for the years 2019-21, while taking into account the measures taken by the States taxing these benefits already. France is transposing this European agreement into its 2023 budget which, according to Gabriel Attal, must bring “11 billion euros” in the state.
The Commission has been careful not to use the word “taxbecause any new tax provision on a European scale would have required the unanimity of the Twenty-Seven, a more complicated and risky procedure than adoption by qualified majority.