Macron’s Announcements: smoke screen to preserve tax injustice and gifts to the wealthiest

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While the whole country has a strong desire for more social and fiscal justice, Emmanuel Macron has finally spoken out, after three weeks of silence, but refuses to change course.

By ATTAC France
10 december 2018

Behind some "social" measures that hide a weakening of social protection and the refusal of a general increase in wages, Emmanuel Macron mainly confirmed the very important tax gifts made to the richest (ISF, Flat tax, Exit tax, etc.), his neoliberal agenda (pension, civil service and unemployment insurance reforms) and the continued decline in public spending at the expense of the presence and quality of public services.

Does the executive really think it can get out of a major social and political crisis by accelerating the implementation of a largely rejected policy in the country?

Emmanuel Macron is still the President of the ultra-rich: he has chosen to preserve the interests of the richest 1% by not going back on the abolition of the ISF, the reduction of the Exit tax or the introduction of the Flat tax. Contrary to what he claims, the executive has not listened to the popular demands for more redistributive tax measures expressed over the past few weeks: it is maintaining the course of a deeply unequal and ineffective policy that is taxing the state budget.

The announcement of a 100 euro increase in the SMIC is a real scam since the SMIC is not revalued, nor are wages just above the SMIC. The salary received will increase via the increase in the activity bonus, which was already in the pipes. Splendid sleight of hand that the President is trying to do. Rather than having companies finance wage increases, it makes taxpayers pay. The tax exemption for overtime will also benefit the best-paid employees who have the opportunity to do so. It also means less resources for the State budget. Desocialization will mechanically lead to a weakening of our social protection system.

The most disadvantaged populations are also forgotten: no increase in social minima has been announced, while pensions are still not indexed to the cost of living, a demand that has been expressed for several weeks. Students and high school students, mobilized in the street and largely repressed, are completely ignored by the executive.

Emmanuel Macron insists on pursuing a policy that consists in shifting corporate taxation onto households and preserving the acquired interests of multinationals (CICE, CIR, etc.) and their shareholders; while the climate investment of French companies has been stagnating for several years and could even fall in 2018, the executive is missing the opportunity to redirect, by regulatory and fiscal means, private investment towards ecological transition and thus reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, which have risen again

By refusing to structurally reduce fiscal and social inequalities in the country, Emmanuel Macron confirms that he has assumed the role of "President of the rich" to the detriment of the interests of the poorest and most vulnerable, but also to the detriment of an ecological transition policy that is becoming increasingly necessary. The confirmed decline in public spending will only worsen the situation of public services and social protection. The continuation of its neoliberal agenda (pension, civil service and unemployment insurance reforms) illustrates the government’s contempt and misunderstanding for the ongoing mobilisations. In addition, Emmanuel Macron does not hesitate to call the far right on the issue of immigration to try to divert current social anger.

The government remains deaf to the legitimate demands expressed. Attac France calls on its members and local committees to remain mobilized and to be present in the mobilizations of the coming days, especially on Friday 14 December at the call of trade union organizations and Saturday 15 December on the occasion of Act 5 of the "yellow vests" movement, to demand more social, fiscal and ecological justice.